Rafa Benitez gives Islam Slimani fitness update at Newcastle ahead of Man United game

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Islam Slimani is touch and go for Sunday's game against Manchester United.

The Newcastle United striker, signed on loan from Leicester City last month, hopes to make his debut against Jose Mourinho's side on Sunday.

However, Slimani, recovering from a thigh injury, was unable to train with his team-mates today ahead of the televised game.

“We have to see about him," said United manager Rafa Benitez. "We will see how he feels tomorrow and how fit he is.

“We had a good training session, I like competition between keepers, midfielders and strikers. We have three new players, and that's good for me

“I will tell you when I watch them playing how good we can be with them. It’s one thing watching them train and another seeing them play in the Premier League.

Islam Slimani

Islam Slimani

"It's too early to know how much they can give to us."

Defender Ciaran Clark – who was kicked in the knee last weekend – is back in training ahead of Man United's visit to St James's Park.

“We have (Jesus) Gamez, who's getting better," added Benitez. "We will still have to wait.

"The others are fine. (Mohamed) Diame is training, Clark is training. He had a knee problem, Slimani was part of the training session on Thursday and part of a session today, so we'll see tomorrow."