Watford overtake Newcastle as favourites to land £30m striker

Watford have overtaken Newcastle United as the bookmakers favourites to land Islam Slimani from Leicester City.

The striker is in fact the club’s joint top scorer this season, scoring four goals, but has barely featured under new Foxes boss Claude Puel. His last action for the club was at the end November where he was the late substitute against Tottenham.

However, since that brief appearance, he is yet to feature in any of the the 18 Man Match day squads with Puel admitting that he was down in the pecking order of attackers:

“We have just 18 players possible (in the match-day squad) before the game. Musa was not here also. Ulloa, Vardy, Gray and Mahrez were on the bench. I cannot put all the strikers I have in the squad on the bench.”

Watford have now emerged as the favourites to sign the striker after an alarming slump in form. The Hornets are without a win in their last five games, of which four of them were defeats. They have also had a man sent off in each of their last three games, form which has seen them slump to 10th in the table just seven points above the drop zone.

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Newcastle meanwhile are desperately in need of adding more firepower to their squad that currently finds itself in the relegation zone, and without a win in the last nine fixtures. Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic is widely tipped to be on his way out of the club, while Dwight Gayle and Joselu have scored just six Premier League goals between them so far in in Newcastle’s 18 fixtures.

The odds of Slimani moving to Newcastle had dropped in the last few days, with the Magpies shortening to 6/4 to land the striker. However a flurry of bets have seen Watford emerge as the odds on favourites to sign the £30m striker, with SkyBet pricing the move at 10/11, while Newcastle have drifted to 16/1.

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