Newcastle reportedly willing to pay £5.3m for Eddy Onazi

St James Park

The Nigeria international is said to have attracted the interest of Newcastle United.

According to Tuesday’s print edition of Italian newspaper Calcio Mercato, Newcastle United have joined the race to sign Lazio midfielder Eddy Onazi.

The claim was later printed online by Football Italia, and it suggests the Serie A side are willing to cash in on the 23-year-old this month despite the fact he has a contract that runs until the summer of 2018.

Onazi is a central midfielder who can operate either in a holding role or further forward, and Newcastle fans would be forgiven for wondering why the Magpies would want another such player when they recently signed Henri Saivet and Jonjo Shelvey.

For that reason alone the report needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. However there is no doubt Newcastle need to significantly strengthen as they bid to avoid relegation this season.

Onazi has played 101 times for Lazio to date, scoring six goals and providing seven assists in the process, and having recently been dropped from the starting XI there is a chance the latest rumours are more a ploy to force his parent club’s hand than anything else.

Newcastle are said to have competition from Swansea City for the Nigeria international, with both clubs allegedly willing to pay £5.3million up front to get a deal over the line.

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