It is no secret that there is a whole host of players Rafa Benitez is desperate to offload this summer.
With Mike Ashley starving the manager of funds, it looks to be only if a decent number of them can be found new homes – can the United boss make any significant progress in bringing in players he needs.
As to why so many of these unwanted ‘stars’ are still at St James Park, it looks to be an unwieldy combination of Mike Ashley insisting on holding out for too much in the way of transfer fees, as well as the players themselves being immovable on the far too high wages compared to their ability, that they have been lucky enough to end up on.
Monday morning brings news of a player said to be wanted by two Premier League clubs but his wage demands making any deal all but impossible.
Both Burnley and Swansea are said to be keen on Jack Colback but according to The Sun, matching his £70,000 a week wages isn’t going to happen.
A typical ‘bargain’ signing under Mike Ashley/Graham Carr, Jack Colback was able to negotiate far higher wages than he should have been able to, due to arriving as a free agent – out of contract after leaving Sunderland.
One of numerous players to be given contracts that were far too long, Colback was given a five year one, meaning Newcastle could be stuck with him until June 2019 unless somebody will take him.
With talk of a bust up with Rafa Benitez, the midfielder was even left out of the public training session at St James Park on Thursday.
The United boss preferred to bring in Curtis Good and Macauley Gillesphey from the reserve set-up to make up the numbers, rather than involving six of his unwanted players.
Joining Krul, Lazaar and Riviere in being frozen out, were Massadio Haidara, Grant Hanley and Jack Colback.
Colback did ok in his first (2014/15) season but was terrible in the relegation (2015/16) one, his lack of pace and absence of any creativity making him a passenger.
Dropping into the Championship, he failed to look above that standard and Rafa left him out as cover most of the time, sometimes coming in for Isaac Hayden.
It is numerous deals such as Colback’s (along with de Jong, Mitrovic etc) that have crippled Newcastle, if The Sun is ‘on the money’ with their wage figure, Jack Colback would cost Newcastle at least £17.5m in basic wages (without bonuses…) if he sees out his five year deal.
Siem de Jong is three years into a six(!!) year deal and so on.
Realistically, these players are probably worth no more than half the money they ended up on at Newcastle and especially when it comes to trying to offload players such as Haidara, de Jong, Riviere etc, where the only possibility is selling them abroad, there is no way clubs in France, Holland etc who would want them, could get anywhere near their NUFC salaries.
With 10 days to go of the transfer window it is like an equation with no possible answer, unless somebody radically changes their position.