This week Steve McClaren revealed that he wanted to build his team around Moussa Sissoko, describing the midfielder as ‘an absolute presence’.

During the same interview the Newcastle Head Coach said that there had been a lot of interest from other clubs but that NUFC can’t afford to lose the player.

McClaren did mention the fact that Moussa Sissoko was still under contract, in fact he is until June 2019, but as we know – these days contracts very rarely keep a player at a club if he is determined to leave.

Steve McClaren earlier this week speaking on BBC Radio Newcastle:

“We cannot lose Moussa Sissoko, I know there is a lot of interest but he’s under contract.

“On my very first day he walked into my office, a specimen of a man, an absolute presence and great manner – very professional and low maintenance.

“I said to Lee Charnley, ‘wow, we have got to keep this guy’ – I want to build a team around him.”

Now the French media are reporting that Newcastle are following up McClaren’s words with action, the talk on the other side of the Channel being that the club are in the process of offering a new contract to try and make sure that the French international stays at St James Park.

The length of the contract isn’t likely to be the main focus, although United may add an extra year on if they do offer a better deal.

Rather it will be the cash side of things, with no doubt the deals that will have been given to Wijnaldum and Mitrovic meaning that Newcastle will have to up their game to keep the likes of Moussa Sissoko happy.

Plus of course the Newcastle midfielder has just seen the club’s top earner Fabricio Coloccini getting a new deal to ensure he stats at United, despite Mike Ashley having to commit to a contract that takes the Argentine international well past his 35th birthday.

As always, Newcastle fans are still wary of what could happen in the final 24 days of the summer transfer window and what if Mike Ashley gets an attractive offer?

Steve McClaren has now stated he sees Moussa Sissoko as a player he wants to build the team around, so what happens then if Ashley wants to sell?

More to the point what will/would Steve McClaren do?