Islam Slimani is on the verge of completing his move to Newcastle United.
He is on Tyneside having his medical on Wednesday afternoon and the assumption must be he will be presented to the crowd at tonight’s Burnley match, if the move is completed in time.
It is now three and a half years ago when the Algerian international was first linked with a transfer to Newcastle (see below), that being the disastrous window when as well as bringing in Remy Cabella, Siem de Jong, Jack Colback and Facundo Ferreyra, the Graham Carr striker choice was Emmanuel Riviere to replace the goals Loic Remy had contributed on loan the previous season.
Two years later and Islam Slimani had scored another 39 league goals in 49 starts (plus five from the bench) for Sporting Lisbon, before being sold for around £27m to Leicester in summer 2016.
Despite only starting 15 Premier League matches (plus 20 appearances as a sub), Islam Slimani has eight Premier League goals plus another five for Leicester in the cup competitions.
The striker turns 30 in June so interesting to see what the exact details will be of his loan move to Newcastle and whether any chance of a permanent deal.
Earlier today it was revealed that Slimani had picked up a thigh injury in training and was expected to be missing for at least two weeks, meaning he would miss the Palace game on Sunday and the Man Utd one a week later, as well as tonight’s Burnley game.
However, Craig Hope who covers Newcastle for The Mail has now said that he has been told the injury isn’t as serious as first reported and Islam Slimani has an outside chance of being available for Palace, though Man Utd is a more likely target.
With only 13 games left after tonight and Slimani not allowed to play in the Leicester away one, Rafa Benitez needs the striker up to pace as soon as possible, with some crucial matches coming up.
As Islam Slimani takes his Newcastle medical on Wednesday afternoon, news that his injury is not as bad as first reported.
The Mag – 25 June 2014:
The latest striker to be credited with a Newcastle interest is Islam Slimani.
After struggling elsewhere with various other forwards, it is now claimed that United have switched their attention to the 26 year old Sporting Lisbon forward, though there is believed to be competition from Stoke and West Ham.
Slimani is now valued at around £6m, though would represent a tidy profit for Sporting after they recruited the player a year ago on a free from Belouizdad, who compete in the domestic Algerian league.
Islam Slimani is over in Brazil with his national team and after coming on as a substitute in their opening 2-1 defeat against Belgium, he started against South Korea and earned a goal and an assist as they ran out impressive 4-2 winners. Russia await on Thursday and will decide whether Slimani and Algeria progress to the knockout stages.
His 8 goals in 26 appearances helped Sporting Lisbon into the Portuguese runners up spot, while back in Algeria he scored 32 in 96 for Belouizdad.
At international level his record looks more impressive, scoring 12 in 20 appearances, which includes 5 in 7 World Cup qualifying matches plus the goal against South Korea.
It was a big step moving up from domestic football in Algeria to the Portuguese league, but will be at least as big a leap if he does move on to England.
Another name for your list and at least Slimani kind of rhymes with ‘Toon Army’…