Claims have circulated on Saturday morning that Jack Colback is on his way out of St James Park.
Not sure where the transfer story actually first originated but it claims that Aston Villa want to buy the Newcastle midfielder.
The media reports say that Steve Bruce is interested, as after working with Jack Colback at Sunderland he knows what he could add to his team, a transfer fee of around £5m is claimed to be what would be involved in any deal.
Most Newcastle eyes are on which players will (hopefully) be coming in but obviously Rafa Benitez does have to shift a sizeable number of players out as well, both to bring extra money in/save on wages and create room in the squad for his own signings.
However, there will challenges ahead on doing that and with Jack Colback having two years left on his contract it could be hard to shift him.
Signed as a free agent in summer 2014, the one-time Sunderland player will be on Premier League wages and probably higher than the norm at that time, as there was no transfer fee to pay.
Aston Villa have admitted that with FFP (Financial Fair Play) rules they basically can spend little or no money this summer, unless they sell.
As to whether they would sacrifice players to bring in Jack Colback is open to question, with the midfielder not really impressing last season in the Championship.
As for Steve Bruce, yes he was at Sunderland with Jack Colback, and whilst the midfielder was nearer the start of his career back then, Bruce only gave him 16 league starts in the three seasons he was at the club.
The suggested fee of £5m also looks a bit ambitious, as surely it will be a Championship club Colbakc will end up at, regardless of whether Aston Villa are interested or not.
“Rafa Benitez has brought positivity to the club.
“We were on our knees when we went down and there was a lot of negativity around the place – but as soon as he signed up it gave the fans optimism.
“That has helped the fans and us along, they can see the long-term plan which is what someone like Rafa Benitez brings to the football club.
“After we were relegated it would have been easy for lots of them (Newcastle supporters) to disappear but they haven’t.
“You just look at the stadium every week, it is astounding in the Championship, especially when you look at the Premier League and some stadiums are nowhere near full.
“It (promotion) was tough, a lot harder than people were expecting, but if you look at the likes of Aston Villa and Norwich they struggled.
“They haven’t been able to bounce back and there haven’t been many who have over the last few years.”
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