Newcastle United are believed to be one of the clubs who are in the mix to sign Real Betis star, Nabil Fekir, this summer.
What’s the latest on Fekir to Newcastle?
According to reports in Spain – via Sports Witness – the Magpies are said to be one of a handful of Premier League sides who are interested in the 29-year-old, with both Manchester United and Leicester City also named as potential suitors.
The report suggests that despite the Frenchman having just over three years left to run on his existing deal in Seville, the La Liga side are seemingly aware that they may have to cash in this summer amid the mounting interest, with a fee of around €30m (£26m) having been suggested.
The piece goes on to add that the Tynesiders seemingly attempted to sign the 5 foot 8 playmaker – who previously came close to joining Liverpool – last summer, although were unable to come to an agreement with the Andalusian outfit.
Could Fekir rival Almiron for a starting spot?
Fekir has seemingly warranted such interest as a result of his standout form in Spain in recent times, having contributed six goals and three assists in just 19 games in all competitions so far this season, taking his total tally for Betis to 54 goal involvements in just 137 games to date.
The World Cup winner had previously been a key figure at hometown club Lyon prior to joining his current side in 2019, having scored 69 goals and laid on 46 assists in 13 games for the Ligue 1 outfit, after rising up through the club’s youth ranks.
While the left-footed dynamo has typically done much of his damage in an attacking midfield role in recent times, the 25-cap sensation also provides the benefit of being able to feature on the flanks, ensuring that he could offer a suitable alternative to Miguel Almiron in Eddie Howe’s side.
The latter man has been something of a revelation in recent months after being deployed on the right flank, with the playmaker having scored ten goals in the top flight already this term, rubberstamping what has been an “amazing transformation“, in the words of club legend Alan Shearer.
The Paraguayan international has been particularly lethal cutting in onto his stronger left foot to wreak havoc in the Magpies’ forward line, albeit with there a potential concern with regard to the lack of a genuine rival to the 29-year-old’s starting berth, with the likes of Anthony Gordon and Allan Saint-Maximin arguably best suited on the opposite side.
As such the addition of Fekir – who has been described as “like fire” by former Anfield hero Sadio Mane in the past – could provide much-needed competition to the forward line, with more depth set to be required if Newcastle are to compete in Europe next season.
The £117k-per-week wizard is clearly able to offer a real direct threat in attack as he ranks in the top 14% among his European peers for successful take-ons, while he also ranks in the top 4% for shot-creating actions as a marker of his creative prowess.
While the St James’ Park outfit may have to fend off the likes of Man United and Leicester to secure a deal, managing to bring in the Betis man this summer could well help to keep the in-form Almiron on his toes.
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