‘Unbelievable’ Newcastle United star wanted by Saudi club as Jurgen Klopp voices concern

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A Newcastle United stalwart has been linked with a move away from St James Park.

Newcastle United club captain Jamaal Lascelles is reportedly a target for Saudi Pro-League club Al-Shabab.

The former Nottingham Forest defender made his first appearance of the season on Saturday when he came off the bench to replace Matt Targett during the final quarter of an hour of the Magpies 3-1 defeat at Brighton and Hove Albion.

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However, with game-time hard to come by, there have been suggestions Lascelles could have departed St James Park ahead of last Friday’s transfer deadline after speculation the likes of West Ham United and Luton Town had an interest in securing his signature.

United manager Eddie Howe has always admired Lascelles standing within his squad and made a point of praising the long-serving centre-back during the Magpies pre-season trip to the United States.

He said: “I just want to add something, I just want to say with Jamaal in this group he has been an unbelievable captain. Captaincy does not just exist on the pitch, it has to exist off it as well. The two things are so intrinsically linked so a lot of our success last year came down to a group of players giving everything on and off the pitch.

“There was a group of people off the pitch and Jamaal was one of them. Now Jamaal will want to play like every player does but it’s how you react when you are not playing is the key. And I just want to pay tribute to what Jamaal did last year and we move forward together.”

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Doubts over Lascelles’ future at Newcastle remain despite the closure of the summer transfer window and TEAMtalk have reported the Magpies club captain is a target for Al-Shabab ahead of Thursday’s transfer deadline for Saudi clubs. The 29-year-old could join former Newcastle target Yannick Carrasco at Al-Shabab as the Belgian international is reportedly close to completing a move to the Riyadh-based club.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has previously raised a concern about the extended window in the Saudi Pro League amid interest in star Reds winger Mohamed Salah.

He said previously: “Pretty much the worst thing, I think, is that the transfer window in Saudi Arabia is open three weeks longer. If I am right, I heard something like that, then at least in Europe, that’s not helpful.

“UEFA or FIFA must find solutions for that. But in the end, at this moment, I don’t know exactly what will happen. It’s already influential for us, but we will have to learn to deal with it. Time will show.”

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