Newcastle’s Lazaar linked with Fiorentina move
Newcastle United misfit Achraf Lazaar looks set to depart before the European transfer window closes and Fiorentina have emerged as potential suitors.
The 17-cap Morocco international played under Magpies manager Steve Bruce at Sheffield Wednesday last season and when the 58-year-old took charge at St James’ Park it was suggested Lazaar could be handed another chance at the Premier League club.
Reports earlier in the summer claimed the left-sided player was keen to fight for a place in the Newcastle side and he is under contract until the summer of 2021. However, it seems as if the 27-year-old remains surplus to requirements and has been left out of the club’s Premier League squad.
Lazaar has previous experience in Italy having begun his professional career at Varese before a two-year stint with Palermo, and he spent time on loan at Benevento from Newcastle in the 2017-18 campaign.
Promoted Serie A club Hellas Verona have been linked with him and Dutch outfit Utrecht are also believed to be keen on the Moroccan. However, now Fiorentina have been tipped to make a move.
Clubs in Serie A have until September 2 to make transfers so La Viola have plenty of time to reach an agreement with Newcastle.
The Tuscan outfit have been fairly busy this summer and earlier this week completed the eye-catching signing of Franck Ribery as a free agent following his release by Bayern Munich at the end of last season.
Fiorentina have also signed former Spurs, AC Milan and Schalke midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng from Italian rivals Sassuolo as they look to challenge for European qualification again after missing out last year.
If La Viola do land Lazaar, he is likely to be viewed as a back-up or squad player rather than a regular in their starting XI, while he is more likely to get game time at Utrecht or Hellas Verona.
Lazaar has managed just four league appearances for Newcastle since his arrival in 2016 and every one of those outings came in the Championship in 2016-17.
The Moroccan played nine games for Benevento, scoring once in Serie A the following season and featured four times last season for the Owls under Bruce last season as his time in South Yorkshire was disrupted by injury.