By Tom Blackburn
Newcastle want to make a late bid to sign West Ham target Achraf Lazaar from Palermo, according to a report.
Italian website Tutto Mercato Web claim Toon boss Rafa Benitez wants to make the most of delays between Palermo and West Ham, by making an offer for the 24-year-old.
The Evening Standard claimed last week that West Ham were leading the race to land the left-sided player for £2.5million.
Italian publication Mediagol claimed that the Morocco international had agreed a three-year contract with the Hammers before the move went quiet.
Tutto Mercato Web claimed on Monday that there was a chase to sign Lazaar involving Crystal Palace, Premier League rivals Southampton and La Liga side Celta Vigo.
Lazaar can play in defence and on the left side of midfield, and his versatility is said to be a major part of his game.
He has less than 12 months remaining on his Rosanero deal and is available at a relatively cut-price £2.5million.
The 16-time capped international was integral to Palermo’s Serie A campaign last season, making 30 domestic appearances for Davide Ballardini’s side.
Newcastle have outspent all of their Championship rivals in this transfer window by recruiting a host of Premier League players, with pair Dwight Gayle and Matt Ritchie costing a combined £22million.
They picked up their second win of the season on Saturday when they beat Bristol City 2-1.
In other Newcastle transfer news, a reliable journalist gives an update on their pursuit of a Champions League spearhead.