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Newcastle’s quest for striker deal seemingly over in huge setback for Benitez – report

Newcastle United supporters have been somewhat despondent in the Transfer Tavern this week, what with their side bowing out of the FA Cup on Sunday, and then missing out on a deal for Daniel Sturridge on Monday.

Rafa Benitez’s men earned their spot in the fourth round of the world’s oldest club competition after beating Luton Town earlier this month, yet their run came to an end at the hands of Premier League champions Chelsea on Sunday, who eased past the Magpies 3-0 at Stamford Bridge. And their misery was further compounded on Monday as news earlier in the day suggested that the North East giants were closing in on a move for Liverpool striker Sturridge, only for West Brom to seize the initiative and confirm the 28-year-old on loan until the end of the season.

Consequently, there have been many disappointed Magpies fans in the Tavern in the last few days, and their mood is unlikely to be improved by a recent report from Sky Sports’ Transfer Centre (12.41pm), which suggests that their quest for Leicester City’s Islam Slimani is seemingly over.

The 29-year-old striker has struggled for regular gametime at the King Power Stadium since his move there back in 2016, with this term particularly difficult having only mustered two Premier League starts so far under Claude Puel.

As such, speculation has been building about his future at the Midlands outfit, with Newcastle one side reportedly keen on the Algeria international as they themselves seek to bolster their attacking ranks.

However, recent reports suggest that the Foxes are not willing to loan Slimani out to another Premier League club, in what is sure to come as a huge setback to Magpies boss Benitez, who has added just one player to his squad in January so far.

And whether the Spaniard is able to bring a striker to the club in the last knockings of the transfer window very much remains uncertain.

Landlord’s verdict: With just 22 goals from their 24 Premier League games this season, it’s clear what area Newcastle United needed to strengthen in this month’s transfer window to improve their survival chances in the second half of the season.

Yet, with little over 24 hours to go, the Magpies have yet to add a striker to their ranks, and it doesn’t look like they’ll get reported target Islam Slimani either, as reports suggest that current club Leicester City are not willing to loan him out to another Premier League outfit.

And this most recent setback is sure to come as a huge blow to Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez, who is running out of time in his quest to bring much-needed reinforcements to the North East giants.

Newcastle fans… what do you make of the news? Let us know!

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