Letting Graham Carr loose with the NUFC cheque book where French players were concerned, has proved to be an unmitigated disaster that has played a major part in Newcastle’s second relegation in the last seven years under Mike Ashley.

Looking for gambles in the bargain bins of Ligue 1 appears to have been reined in by at last handing control of transfers to somebody who knows what they are doing.

Rafa Benitez already showing that whilst there will be a place in his plans for bringing in players from the lower quality European leagues such as Belgium (Matz Sels) and France, it will only be part of a strategy that appears to have its core in identifying players in England (Matt Ritchie, Isaac Hayden and Dwight Gayle), as well as targeting the stronger overseas ones such as La Liga (Jesus Gamez).

The talk this week has been dominated by Moussa Sissoko.

His performance in the European Championships final, then Newcastle reported to be wanting a minimum of £35m for his services, followed by cries of foul play by his representatives and a repeat of the message from the player that he still wants to leave.

The transfer market is going crazy this summer but is it going £35m for Moussa Sissoko crazy?

For Newcastle fans all we care about is ending up with a stronger squad at the end of this transfer window, a Newcastle squad that Rafa Benitez ia happy with and believes is more than capable of bouncing back to the Premier League.

Rather than the question of whether Moussa Sissoko is worth £35m, what about all of the remaining French players at St James Park?

Thankfully both Sylvain Marveaux and Gabriel Obertan ended their five year associations with NUFC as their contracts were paid up a couple of months early, a serious amount of wages for next to nothing in return.

So that leaves us with Moussa Sissoko (three years), Florian Thauvin (four years), Emmanuel Riviere (four years), Yoan Gouffran (one year) and Massadio Haidara (two years).

The figure in brackets is how long they have remaining on their Newcastle contracts.

So the question is, would you take £35m in return for losing the services of the remaining five French players above, plus of course the small matter of saving on 14 years of combined wages that are still outstanding?

(***In case anybody was wondering, Henri Saivet is not French…)