According to a report from The Express and Star, West Brom defender Ahmed Hegazi has a £10 million release clause in his Baggies contract. The 27-year-old may well have been part of a West Brom team relegated from the Premier League last season but he certainly did his bit to try and keep them there, to the point that Newcastle United should seek to land him this summer in case they lose influential ace Jamaal Lascelles.
Ultimately, 24-year-old Lascelles played as big a part as anyone in helping to keep the Magpies in the top-flight last season upon their return to the Premier League, with the centre back appearing in 33 of their league matches, missing the other five only as a result of injury.
And with key goals at one end and wonderful defensive efforts at the other, the Englishman saw his stock raise ten-fold last season to prompt reported interest from clubs higher up the Premier League table, thus opening up the prospect of a summer move.
And were the North East heavyweights to indeed lose their captain, they will certainly have to replace him, which is why a reported £10 million release clause in Hegazi’s contract must be of interest to Benitez and the Newcastle hierarchy.
The 27-year-old may well have gone down with West Brom last season, but he was a rare shining light in their miserable campaign in starting all 38 of their Premier League matches, and showing decent top-flight pedigree in the process.
Be it aerially in both his own box and the opposition’s, or indeed on the floor in being comfortable on the ball or strong in the tackle, the Egypt international certainly proved his worth at the Hawthorns last term to suggest that he is an adept Premier League centre back.
Yes, the defender was part of a disappointing World Cup campaign with his country, in which they lost all three matches in a group many expected them to get out of, but that shouldn’t detract from the fine season Hegazi had last time round – there’s a reason West Ham are thought to be interested.
Is this the best World Cup ever? Give us your thoughts here
And for a reported £10 million, it could turn out to be an absolute bargain if the 27-year-old is able to produce the same level of performance this season as he did last time out.
Thus, with the future of Lascelles still uncertain heading into the 2018/19 season, Benitez must be ready, in case he does leave, to secure a bargain deal for the West Brom ace as replacement for the Englishman.
Newcastle fans… what do you think? Let us know!