​Islam Slimani has welcomed the opportunity to make his ​loan switch from Leicester to Newcastle permanent should the Magpies secure their ​Premier League status for next season. 


The 29-year-old striker failed to light up the King Power stadium following his £29m move from Sporting Lisbon in 2016, but a loan deal to St James' Park has re-ignited the spark needed to turn his career around.

After a lengthy discussion with manager Rafa Benitez, the Algeria international is eager to be the Magpies' new leading man, potentially starting with his club debut in their home game against ​Manchester United on Sunday - but he must first overcome a thigh injury.


Slimani told ​the Guardian of his ambitions at Newcastle: “I feel most comfortable in the No 9 shirt so why not in the future here? I’d be very happy if I could stay here longer. My objective is to score goals here. 


"I already knew a lot about Newcastle and about Alan Shearer. It’s a great club, a very famous club, renowned around the world. I’m happy to be here.

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"The big difference between Newcastle and Leicester is that Rafa Benítez trusts me and having the trust of your coach is very important. Before I joined, Rafa phoned me, we had a good chat and there was a good feeling between us. 


"It’s important to get a call like this, to know you’re wanted by a big coach like him. We’ve spoken a lot about a lot of topics, many, many subjects."


With Benitez backing Slimani to ignite his misfiring attack, the 29-year-old knows he must repay the faith by consistently performing on the pitch, he added: “Yes, that’s true. I hope I can show what I’m capable of. 

"At Leicester it was always about injuries but I’m here to give my best fight to the team. My aim is to give 100%every single match.


“I wanted to leave ​Leicester, I needed a fresh start, Newcastle’s a big club and it’s a good choice for me. A lot of clubs got in touch but I’m pretty sure I made the right choice.”


With just one point separating ​Newcastle from the relegation zone ahead of the weekend's fixtures, the Magpies will be desperate to end their dismal record of nine home league games without a win when second placed United come to town. 

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