Newcastle and Tottenham target stalls on new deal in Portugal

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One of the surprise stars of last summer’s World Cup in Brazil could soon be heading to the Premier League, according to fresh speculation.

Islam Slimani was one of the standout performers for Algeria at the South American finals, helping the Desert Foxes to a surprise appearance in the second round of the tournament.

The 26-year-old scored twice in Brazil, with a goal in the north African side’s 4-2 group stage victory over South Korea as well as a crucial equaliser in the 1-1 draw with Russia that saw Algeria progress.

To date, Slimani has scored 14 goals from 36 international appearances and has proven similarly prolific with club side Sporting Lisbon.

In 45 league appearances for the Portuguese side, the forward has scored 19 goals.

Since returning from the World Cup to a hero’s welcome, the Algerian has been the subject of intense transfer speculation, with several Premier League clubs thought to be keen on recruiting the striker.

Both Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur are thought to be among that number, while West Ham and Sunderland have also previously been linked.

Valued at around the £6m mark in previous reports, the chasing pack could yet seal a cut-price deal for the forward if the rumours doing the rounds are to be believed.

Slimani is thought to be in negotiations over a new contract with Sporting, but with the Lisbon giants believed to have balked at his wage demands, a move away could be imminent.

The Portuguese side may therefore be willing to reduce the price tag on Slimani’s head, rather than lose out on a substantial transfer fee altogether.

And with both Newcastle and Tottenham likely to still be in the market for a new striker this summer, we could be set for a transfer tug-of-war between the pair.

A quick, skilful striker who is also adept in the air, Slimani appears well-suited to the demands of the Premier League and would prove a useful addition for several top-flight sides.

They could yet face competition from abroad, however, with Schalke among those entering the frame to recruit the Algerian.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford is a content writer with over five years of experience in writing about sport and betting, including a two-year spell with Axonn Media. Contributes articles to HereIsTheCity and Lad Bible, while previous credits include Bwin, FTB Pro, Bleacher Report and the QBE rugby. Avid follower of tennis, rugby union, motorsport and football, Jack also writes about poker for Cardspiel.com alongside Guardian journalist Dominic Wells.