I think it is fair to say that by the time the season ended, Rafa Benitez will have decided what he wants to do with the various Newcastle players.

The United boss will have his list of those who he definitely wants to keep, as well as the Newcastle players who have no future at the club.

In a bit of blurred area there will also be a limited group of players who Rafa will sell if he gets offers for but if they stay, he won’t be too upset to have them as squad members next season.

The transfer speculation season is in full flow, Newcastle linked with probably around 100 different ‘targets’ by now, less than three weeks after the Championship campaign ended.

Making sense of where the truth (if any) may lie with the media claims, is about on the same difficulty level as herding cats, but what about those that are staying?

The post-season has also seen the new home strip launched and very nice it looks too, despite predictably the best efforts of the new sponsor’s logo attempts to spoil it.

Interesting to see just who the club chose to help promote the new strip.

I guess nothing is set in stone but surely those players featuring in the adverts and promotion of the new strip must be knocking bets to form a core of the team/squad in the Premier League?

The club included four stars of the past to help promote the 2017/18 home shirt: Supermac, Bobby Moncur, Frank Clark, and Peter Beardsley, all pulling on the black and white stripes once again.

By my reckoning, there were also eight current players involved in the promotional video and images.

Appearing were: Ciaran Clark, Jamaal Lascelles, Ayoze Perez, Paul Dummett, Jonjo Shelvey, DeAndre Yedlin, Isaac Hayden, and Dwight Gayle.

Of those eight, I think most were safe bets to feature next season but Ayoze Perez was a possible candidate to leave, whilst always a chance Rafa is going to buy a new left-back and leave Paul Dummett in a quandary as to whether happy to be a squad player.

Maybe of most interest are those who weren’t included in the group modelling the new strip…

Despite a lack of games, Aleksandar Mitrovic continues to be very popular with many fans, he would have been a natural to be included but wasn’t included.

No goalkeepers were used in promoting the new strip, despite the new keeper’s shirt available to pre-order along with the outfield strip. Maybe an indication that Rafa is yet to conclude his goalkeeping business/decisions for next season.

Other players such as Colback, Mbemba, Gouffran, Anita, Muprhy, Gamez, Lazaar, Diame, Hanley and Haidara, must all be likely leavers.

Christian Atsu has now signed on permanently since the strip promotion, whilst surely Matt Ritchie will be here next season and may have been unavailable.

Looking back on recent seasons is interesting, when you see which players were used.

In 2014/15, amongst those who promoted the strips were Emmanuel Riviere, Jack Colback, Siem de Jong and Remy Cabella – that went well!

Then last season, 2015/16, the likes of Fabricio Coloccini, Massadio Haidara, Tim Krul, Ayoze Perez and Jack Colback featured, once again some interesting choices…

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])

  • Peter Robson

    I was reading my tea leaves this morning and my mate saw a cloud that looked like a fish over SJP !! I´m not sure what the portents are but something big is going to happen !!!!

    Probably as reliable as the authors claims !!!

    Time to warm up the crystals and get back under my tin foil tent !!!

    • BangoSkank

      James Perch set for a return?

      • Toonbadger

        Nice one Bango what about Dan Codling?

        • Mrkgw

          Or Collo Coddocini?

          • Jimblag23

            Connor Salmon?
            Mark Fish?
            Coley Codacini?

      • Toonbadger

        Andrew Coley

        • Albert Stubbins

          Peter Haddock?

    • MadMag83

      Mackerel Owen?

    • grantham mag

      Sounds a bit fishy to me

  • Jimblag23

    They probably just asked the best looking, that’s why Beardo’s there.

  • Toonbadger

    ” Appearing were: Ciaran Clark, Jamaal Lascelles, Ayoze Perez, Paul Dummett, Jonjo Shelvey, DeAndre Yedlin, Isaac Hayden, and Dwight Gayle.”
    I also seen Supermac and Beardsley in that photo, does it mean we are signing them? I don’t think so

  • Cuh736

    Ritchie is on his way out then?

  • MadMag83

    Some pretty big straws being clutched there

  • Scottpaige

    Hope super Mac isn’t up front next season then !!!!.

    Can we not do better than this. Bit desperate isn’t it

  • Albert Stubbins

    Glad Pedro’s gonna be back for next season- must have been been injured for the last 18 years.!!

  • Oooh bobbi fleckman

    How much would Macdonald be now? he was an immense player, the perfect centre forward.

  • Geordiegiants

    To be fair, I don’t think that we have one single player, that Rafa wouldn’t sell if the right offer came in.

  • Taz

    With Supermac and pedro in the team the title is ours🙄