Newcastle completed the deadline day signing of Leicester City forward Islam Slimani on a loan deal until the end of the season, but according to reports by the Chronicle Live, it was a phone call from Rafa Benitez that convinced the player to sign.

A host of other clubs including West Brom, West Ham and Roma were interested in bringing in the player, with West Ham boss David Moyes saying he failed with attempts to bring the player to London.

Italian giants Roma also made a move for the player but after conversations with Benitez he decided he would prefer a move to the North East.

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This was because Roma thought they would lose Edin Dzeko to Chelsea and they were looking to sign a capable replacement for the player.

Benitez chat with Slimani “changed everything” as the player rejected moves elsewhere towards the end of the month.

He missed his side’s 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace as he recovers from his thigh strain which was picked up in training with Leicester City.

The Algerian is expected to be fit when Manchester United visit this weekend in the Premier League.