Rafa Benitez has confirmed that there are more Newcastle players on the brink of leaving.

Last week the United boss said that work was still going on behind the scenes and that Newcastle were close to more signings, though part of the equation was that he was also waiting to see if he would get the ‘right offers’ for some of his current players.

Rafa Benitez 27 July 2016:

“We still have some things (going on) behind the scenes and we are close.

“We have some players that are now in the market because other clubs are asking for them – but we have to wait and see if we receive the right offers for the right players – and then we will move forward.

“The main thing for me is to be sure that we can bring in the players we need to improve the squad.”

Sky Sports then later revealed that Newcastle had received offers for both Florian Thauvin and Cheick Tiote but the bids weren’t high enough.

With Newcastle triggering release clauses for both Ciaran Clark and Mohamed Diame on Monday, it looks as though we are set for another flurry of ins and outs at St James Park.

Rafa Benitez saying to the Chronicle:

“We have three or four players considering whether they have to go or will stay.

“We have offers for some of them.

“It is a difficult situation for the players.”

As to who these players are, some of them appear obvious but there will always be the fear of some hidden surprises.

Moussa Sissoko and Florian Thauvin clearly want to leave, whilst there are a number of players with less than 11 months left on their contracts.

Those in their final year include Tim Krul, Vurnon Anita, Cheick Tiote and Rolando Aarons, with no sign of any of them signing a new deal as yet.

Matz Sels’ arrival suggested Krul was likely to leave but no moves yet, though he has missed the pre-season friendlies as he completes his return from injury.

Thauvin and Tiote are clearly two that Rafa refers to as receiving offers for and hopefully something will be sorted shortly for both of them, neither have started any of the five friendlies and clearly don’t figure in Rafa’s plans.

On the other hand, Anita and Aarons have been at the forefront of Newcastle’s pre-season and are fifth and sixth in terms of most minutes on the pitch. Whilst Anita would/could leave for nothing at the end of the season, Aarons’ age means Newcastle would receive some compensation, though if the pair are in Rafa Benitez’ plans this coming season then you would think something would be sorted with the pair.

As for hidden surprises, news of the move for Villa’s Ciaran Clark had some Newcastle fans putting two and two together with Chancel Mbemba’s absence at the weekend with what was said to be only a minor injury by Rafa Benitez. Obviously, the last thing we/Rafa would need at this stage is to lose a player who is seen as automatic first choice like the DR Congo defender.

Everything crossed that the next month (and beyond) brings only surprises of the nice variety.