Newcastle’s January signing Islam Slimani is not available for the clash with Liverpool, as expected, and he might play for his country before making his Newcastle debut, according to a reliable journalist.

The Liverpool news was confirmed by manager Rafa Benitez in his pre-match press conference on Friday lunchtime.

Instead, Slimani is continuing work at the gym as he recovers from a knock he had before he signed for Newcastle on deadline day.

The news was posted by Lee Ryder, journalist on the Chronicle from the Friday media conference.

Injury specialist Ben Dinney, who works for ESPN as an injury data analyst, followed up by saying that his next likely match would be for his country.

Algeria play Gambia on March 24, which would mean that if he comes through that unscathed, he should be available to play in the Huddersfield game for Newcastle on March 31.

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Newcastle don’t have a game for three weeks after the Premier League game against Southampton on March 10.

Their game against Tottenham at Wembley on Friday 16 has been rearranged after Tottenham made it through to the FA Cup quarter-finals.

And following that is the international break, which Newcastle fans will be keeping an eye on for any Slimani news.

In other Newcastle news, manager of top-five club makes big summer claim about reported £60k-a-week Newcastle player

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