The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s (KSA) Public Investment Fund (PIF) are reportedly now ‘optimistic’ that they can sign Eden Hazard for Newcastle United.
The Lowdown: Howe’s first signing?
Eddie Howe was spotted in the stands sitting next to Amanda Staveley in the 1-1 draw away to Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday evening, perhaps implying that he will be the next permanent manager at St James’ Park.
Hazard is a player that the 43-year-old knows very well from his time managing in the Premier League, describing him as ‘outstanding’ after a top performance against his former club Bournemouth when the Belgian was playing for Chelsea.
Should Newcastle sign Hazard?
The 30-year-old scored a very impressive 110 goals and supplied a further 92 assists in 352 games in all competitions across seven consecutive seasons at Stamford Bridge, mainly playing out on the wing (Transfermarkt).
He was not short of silverware at the Blues either, winning the Premier League and UEFA Europa League twice and lifting both the FA Cup and League Cup (Transfermarkt).
The Latest: Optimism
As per Spanish media outlet Sport, PIF have now ‘set their sights’ on Hazard and are ‘optimistic’ about signing him for Newcastle.
Carlo Ancelotti has reportedly ‘lost confidence’ in the 30-year-old, so Real Madrid will ‘open the exit door wide’ if the new owners on Tyneside can present a convincing offer to the La Liga giants.
His current deal at the Bernabeu expires in 2024, meaning that Los Blancos could get a lot of his wages off of their books.
The Verdict: Worth the risk
Of course, signing a 30-year-old Hazard, who has not exactly set the world alight at Real Madrid so far, would be a big risk for Newcastle. However, he has been hit with a lot of injury problems, so he should be given the benefit of a doubt.
His record in English football speaks for itself, and he may be up for a different challenge in trying to keep the Magpies in the top flight so that they can kick on next season.
Nonetheless, he is a big name in world football given what he has achieved, and he could well attract other stars to Tyneside if he becomes a Newcastle player.
In other news, these were NUFC’s three worst players against Brighton
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