By Russell Edge

28th Feb, 2018 | 11:47am

Confirmed: Benitez holds Newcastle talks with agent of top flight outcast - reported £3m clause

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has confirmed he has held talks with the agent of Achraf Lazaar after the 26-year-old found himself cast out from loan side Benevento’s squad for the second half of the season.
The Magpies shipped out the Moroccan international to the Italian top flight on a season-long loan deal during the summer transfer window, after he failed to impress during his debut campaign in the Championship.
However, after becoming a regular in the first team for the Serie A basement club, he suffered a knee injury in November, and after being ruled out of action for seven games and being left as an unused substitute on his return, he was axed from the first team squad in place of Bacary Sagna.
It means that the 26-year-old will be forced to undergo training with no chance of playing for his loan side between now and the end of the season, when he will return to Tyneside despite there said to be an optional £3million transfer clause in the loan deal.
Speaking of Lazaars predicament, Benitez told the Chronicle: “I feel for him. When you go away and you think everything is fine it is hard.
“I was talking with his agent the other day. We know about his situation but we can’t find a solution.
“Sagna is a player with experienced and they decided on him not being in the squad.
“It’s something that we can’t control. We have signed Kenedy so we couldn’t bring him back.”
Lazaar has managed to make just 10 appearances for Newcastle since his arrival from Palermo in 2016, with one of those his League Cup outing for the Magpies earlier this season.
In other Newcastle United news, one midfield maestro is set for a recall to the starting XI for when Liverpool play host to the Magpies on Saturday.

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