Newcastle United have been dealt a potential blow in their efforts to sign Real Betis midfielder Nabil Fekir, with reports from Spain claiming that the Frenchman is happy where he is.
The Lowdown: Fekir linked with Newcastle
Eddie Howe may be looking to make significant reinforcements to his squad in the January transfer window, with a top-four finish now feeling like a distinct possibility as the Magpies sit third in the Premier League table.
One player who has been linked with a move to St James’ Park is Fekir, who has been a key figure for Betis since arriving from Lyon in 2019. The 29-year-old has registered 25 goals and 25 assists in 129 appearances for the La Liga side, with his current deal not expiring until 2026.
The Latest: Transfer seems unlikely
According to Spanish outlet Estadio Deportivo [via Sport Witness], sources close to the player have indicated that Betis ‘don’t feel any fear’ about Newcastle’s interest because Fekir is happy at his current club.
It is stated that the Magpies have a ‘very fluid relationship’ with the Frenchman’s agency, but they ‘do not plan to pay’ €45m (£39.2m) for the player, ‘nor do they bother to offer less’, which is likely to end any possibility of a move happening.
The Verdict: Better options out there?
Hailed by ex-Barcelona forward Malcom as a “big player” who has “scored incredible goals”, Fekir seems a class act who would no doubt add quality and guile to this Newcastle side, but there is an argument to say that PIF can find better options.
The midfielder turns 30 next year, so he wouldn’t necessarily be considered a long-term acquisition, while apparent agent interference prevented him from joining Liverpool back in 2018, and his fitness record does not make for particularly great reading.
Newcastle would be better off looking to sign a younger alternative to Fekir – someone who can be a part of the Magpies’ continued rise for many years to come.
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