Jamaal Lascelles to Everton is now the big story making headlines.
There was always going to be speculation about the Newcastle captain this summer and it comes with the territory of having players that other players might not.
Not exactly a positive the recent seasons when very few NUFC players were of any interest to anybody else, even if it did mean stress-free transfer windows (when it came to worrying about players going out – not those hopefully coming in…).
Jamaal Lascelles has had his name linked with a number of clubs as well as Everton, with Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham amongst those supposedly interested.
However, it is the Everton connection that is repeatedly being recycled.
As to whether there is genuine interest, who knows, but let’s just say hypothetically that there was.
At this moment in time I reckon you would need the following in place for a (hypothetical) transfer to Goodison Park to take place:
Mike Ashley willing to sell Lascelles.
Rafa Benitez willing to sell his captain.
Everton wanting to buy him.
Jamaal Lascelles himself up for heading to the blue half of Merseyside.
For a move to stand any chance of happening, I think for starters, you would need Rafa Benitez to walk out on Newcastle first.
Whilst the manager is there, I think there is no way Rafa would sell the central defender AND no chance of Jamaal Lascelles leaving for the foreseeable.
However, if we even imagine the horror situation created by the manager walking away, I still can’t see any transfer happening to Everton.
Yes they are showing more ambition than Newcastle United, with Farhad Moshiri financially backing the club, however, he can only do so much and go so far.
Mike Ashley sold Newcastle’s best player seven years ago for £35m, does anybody really think that after seven years of super football inflation, he would really sell our best player for £5m less than that?
None of us know how good (or not) Jamaal Lascelles is really going to be in the years to come but certainly his value now, certainly to Newcastle, is worth far far more than the daft £30m figures that are circulating – supposedly what Ashley and Rafa would be willing to accept.
If Mike Ashley was asked to put an asking price on him then I think he would be seeing £50m as the start the bidding price.
Yes a crazy price for somebody with only 42 Premier League starts and no England caps but how much is it worth if it means you stay in the PL? Would Newcastle have stayed up without Lascelles last season…it would have been in the balance at best.
No disrespect to Everton, well actually,, every disrespect to them, but why would Jamaal Lascelles be desperate to go there anyway?
Yes they have spent a few quid but why go to Everton and play in front of far smaller crowds and at a club that is looking just as unstable s ours, if not more so. Whilst Rafa has been at St James Park, the scousers have now had four different managers and Unsworth putting in two stints as caretaker.
With such a turnover of managers and sheer quantity of signings, the finances must have taken a battering, never mind then the fact they topped up their ongoing player investment with a massive £183m spent last season.
Latest new boss Marco Silva will no doubt have been guaranteed money to spend but surely zero chance that he or the club hierarchy would see £50m+ going on Jamaal Lascelles.
Mike Ashley holds all the aces with Lascelles recently agreeing a new contract up to 2023, whilst even if Moshiri continued to pour money in, they must be getting close to having Financial Fair Play issues.
So yes, plenty of things to get stressed about with our club at the minute BUT Jamaal Lascelles off to Everton isn’t one of them.
(Incidentally, ironic that the only time Jamaal Lascelles has been sent off in his career, was when Newcastle lost 3-0 on 3 February 2016 in the relegation season)