Real Betis forward Nabil Fekir has refused to rule out the possibility of a move to Newcastle United ahead of the January transfer window. The Magpies have been tipped to emerge as one of the Premier League’s major players in the mid-season market after their Saudi-led takeover was finally completed last week.
The Public Investment Fund, which represents the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia, now owns an 80 per cent stake in the club after taking the reins from its previous owner, Mike Ashley.
They are expected to commit plenty of funding in future transfer windows in order to establish Newcastle as England’s newest footballing powerhouse over the coming years.
A number of high-profile stars have been linked with the Magpies since the controversial takeover was announced, including the likes of Donny van de Beek, Jesse Lingard and even Harry Kane.
Fekir, who has long been mentioned in connection with Liverpool and Arsenal, is said to be another name on the club’s January shortlist.
He is currently in fine form, with four goal contributions from his last 10 appearances in all competitions, and Newcastle are believed to be circling as a result.
However, Betis are determined to keep hold of Fekir and are concerned that he could be tempted by the lure of a big-money contract on Tyneside, according to Estadio Deportivo.
It seems as though the player himself could be open to such a move, with Fekir admitting that he is unsure whether anything will develop over the coming weeks and months.
“I don’t think about the offers, I am very happy here,” he told Betis TV.
“I am learning every day and I hope it can continue like this. The fans love me, it gives me a lot of joy and I want to give it back to them on the pitch.
“You never know in football, but the truth is that now I don’t think about offers. I’m at Betis and I’m very happy here.”
It remains to be seen whether Newcastle will be able to prise Fekir away from Betis, either in January or ahead of next season.
He will be out of contract in the summer of 2023 as things stand and is currently in talks with Betis over the possibility of an extension.
Fekir came agonisingly close to joining Liverpool back in 2018, with a deal to bring him to Merseyside all but agreed between the Reds and his former club Lyon.
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However, the move ultimately broke down despite a medical being completed, with Fekir later blaming his agent and claiming that he would have loved to sign for the six-time European champions.
“It was a dark moment,” he told The Times. “I saw plenty of things which weren’t true. It was said the knee stopped me going to Liverpool but that wasn’t true.
“I went to Clairefontaine [France’s football centre near Paris], and they did all the proof [medical] and the knee was fine.
“I had a problem with my agent, my adviser. It was the agent responsible for the deal not going through.
“Of course I was disappointed not to go to Liverpool, very disappointed because Liverpool are a great club.”