News this morning that West Ham are interested in Ayoze Perez and will look to land him on the cheap in the summer, if Newcastle are relegated to the Championship.

The local West Ham media claim that the Hammers see the Spaniard as an ideal addition to their current striking options and that the East London club believe that they could land him for as little as £7m, if Newcastle go down.

Newcastle were reported to have turned down bids from Tottenham in the summer, with offers said to be as high as £15m, Ayoze Perez confirming after the window had shut that there had been definite interest but Newcastle had knocked Spurs back.

How much substance there is in this transfer story is open to question, just like any other transfer tale – especially when it is still months away from the summer window opening.

However, there is no doubt Newcastle fans would be very much moving into the unknown if Rafa Benitez can’t save the club from the failings of McClaren, Mike Ashley, Lee Charnley and Graham Carr.

The massive problem that has been ongoing due to Ashley/Carr’s disastrous transfer policy, would suddenly become even more acute. Finding it even more difficult to get rid of the numerous players (Riviere, Gouffran, Marveaux, Obertan etc – the last two of those thankfully out of contract this summer) Newcastle have accumulated who aren’t good enough – but their wages stop any club that they would be good enough for, being able to buy them.

Whilst on the other hand we would have a right fight on our hands to keep hold of the players who other clubs DO want, such as Ayoze Perez.

Let’s just hope that these hypothetical problems don’t become reality and that Rafa Benitez can get enough out of this season’s slackers to get us over the survival line and then build from there.

That process has to start on Sunday in the ‘grandmother of all derbies’ as former Mackem boss Peter Reid has termed it.