Newcastle braced for 'stand-off' with Algeria over Islam Slimani comeback

Islam Slimani
Islam Slimani

Newcastle United are braced for a "country-versus-country standoff with Algeria over Islam Slimani, according to a report.

Slimani, signed on loan from Leicester City last month, is yet to play a game for the club.

The 29-year-old – who arrived on Tyneside with a thigh injury – suffered a "setback" last month.

United manager Rafa Benitez hopes to have Slimani available for the March 31 home game against Huddersfield Town.

However, Algeria have an African Cup of Nations qualifier against Gambia on March 24 and a friend against Iran three days later.

And coach Rabah Madjer reportedly, according to the Daily Star, wants Slimani to link up with his international team-mates.

Benitez was cautious about a timescale on Slimani's return after last weekend's 2-2 draw against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.