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Newcastle United option to buy Jordan Lukaku for £19m is laughable

1 year ago
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Jordan Lukaku is set to have his medical on Tyneside today.

The 24 year old left sided defender currently stuck at Lazio without any regular football.

It was Italian sports journalist Gianluca Di Marzio who first broke the story (see below) yesterday, with then the likes of Sky Sports and their ‘sources’ following.

Ahead of every transfer window Rafa Benitez has mentioned how desperate he is for another left-back to compete with Paul Dummett, so no surprise that we had the same before this window.

As January has progressed it has also become transparent that Mike Ashley yet again isn’t going to allow any players to be bought, so once again it will loans only…at best, just as was the case a year ago when Newcastle were in another desperate fight against relegation.

With a loan deal set to happen until the end of the season, it was Belgian newspaper Nieuwsblad who then added anther element to the loan story, reporting that Newcastle have agreed a £19m (22m euros) option to buy next summer if things work out.

All the English media have also ran with this extra aspect of the story, reporting this £19m buying clause without question, or even minimal analysis.

However, it is ludicrous for anybody to take this seriously and it can only be in Newcastle United’s (Mike Ashley’s!) interest to want anybody to believe that such an option to buy figure is serious.

After not making it with Anderlecht – only three league starts, Jordan Lukaku (pictured above on the left, with brother Romelu) spent two and a half years at lowly KV Oostende in the Belgian league.

He was then picked up by Lazio for £3m in July 2016, a month before Newcastle paid £3.5m for Achraf Lazaar.

On the back of his form for KV Oostende, the left sided defender played for Belgium in one qualifier for the 2016 Euros against Andorra, as well as two starts and two sub appearances in friendlies in 2016.

Part of the squad in France, his only appearance at the finals was in the 3-1 defeat to Wales.

His time at Lazio has been uninspiring, only starting 19 Serie A games, whilst named on the bench 55 times.

Much as been made of injuries affecting the current season but Jordan Lukaku has been repeatedly named on the bench these past 14 weeks and started only one league game.

It isn’t as though Lazio are one of the main/dominant clubs in Italy either now, in each of the last two seasons they have finished 21 and 23 points off the top and are already a distant 24 points off the top this season.

It isn’t as though his club career has been on an upward trajectory since moving to Italy, only averaging seven league starts per season.

On top of that, Lukaku has only played 27 minutes in two games for Belgium since moving too Italy and only even named in a handful of squads, none of them recently.

This isn’t to say we should write off Jordan Lukaku before he has even signed, never mind started a game, but to believe that this £19m buying option could happen, if it exists, is just laughable.

Lazio will surely snap your hand off if offered a few quid/euro more than they paid for him, lucky if they got even a third of the bogus £19m valuation.

It looks like Rafa Benitez might at last get one or two signings, though only loans. Whilst it is better than nothing, don’t believe the English media, especially the local papers, when they are going on as though this is Mike Ashley at last properly backing the manager. It is not, it is the bare minimum despite this massive relegation fight that lies ahead.

The Mag – Thursday 24 January 2019:

Italian sports journalist Gianluca Di Marzio reports that Newcastle have agreed a deal with Jordan Lukaku.

The brother of Manchester United’s Romelu, the 24 year old is currently with Lazio.

The left-back has made only one Serie A start this season and only played 170 minutes of league football this season.

Gianluca Di Marzio claims that a loan until the end of the season has been agreed, with an option to buy.

No official confirmation from either club as yet.

Jordan Lukaku is also a Belgian international, although his last international action in a competitive match was back in 2017.

Lazio are sixth in Serie A at the moment but the defender look surplus to requirements.

After not making it at Anderlecht, Lukaku moved to another Belgian club, KV Oostende.

Then as a 21 year old Lazio paid £2.5m to take him to Italy.

However, he has never been a regular first teamer, starting only 19 Serie A games in these past two and a half years, whilst being named on the bench 55 times.

Every window Rafa Benitez says he needs, amongst other things, another left-back to compete with Paul Dummett.

Maybe he’s at last found one?

If there is any substance to this transfer story, then surely any transfer fee will be minimal. Jordan Lukaku moved for £2.5m two and a half years ago and has rarely played since then, so nothing to suggest he will be outside of even Newcastle’s transfer budget under Mike Ashley…

Sky Sports are now also reporting it as a done deal, Keith Downie who covers Newcastle for the broadcaster, claims NUFC have been targeting the left-back for the duration of this January window.
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