On Tuesday night last week, Newcastle seemed to be in disarray after losing out on two strikers – Nicolai Jorgensen and Daniel Sturridge.
Which strikers were left to sign was a good question that night, but it turns out that Newcastle were on the phone and agreed a loan deal for Islam Slimani from Leicester City.
That was even though West Ham manager David Moyes thought he had a deal wrapped up with Slimani signing on loan for the Toffees the next day.
Isalm Slimani – happy to play for Rafa Benitez
This is what David Moyes has said in the Mirror::
“Slimani was agreed on Tuesday night and it didn’t come off on Wednesday.”
“I woke up on Wednesday to be told that it wasn’t going to happen.”
There were rumblings after we signed the Algerian last Wednesday night that Leicester didn’t want to loan their striker to West Ham.
That was because of negative comments made by West Ham Vice-Chairman Karren Brady after they had fired Claudio Ranieri on February 23rd last year.
The Mirror had reported Brady had written a (very) negative article about the Foxes owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and his sacking of Claudio Ranieri in her weekly Sun column last year.
That criticism has come back to haunt West Ham and it’s good news for Newcastle.
It seems Leicester were pleased to loan out Slimani to Newcastle rather than West Ham, especially when he was keen to come to Tyneside and work under Rafa Benitez.
It looked like we had missed out on Slimani earlier in the transfer window because Leicester had said they would not loan the player to a Premier League side but only sell him for £20M.
That all changed late in the window and even though they left it far too late, Newcastle were able to pull off a coup on Wednesday and got the top Algerian Striker through the door.
Rafa also said yesterday Slimani’s thigh injury is only minor and he will have a fitness test today to see if he can be in the squad for the game at Crystal Palace tomorrow.
We can only imagine the call to Slimani from his agent late on Tuesday night:
“Remember when I told you that you were going to West Ham tomorrow ……”