Whilst Rafa Benitez is undoubtedly the main man at Newcastle United, Jamaal Lascelles is accepted to be the main player on it.
There was plenty of speculation claiming clubs could bid for him earlier this summer, with Spurs, Everton and Liverpool all credited with interest, though nothing concrete ever happened.
However, with just 12 days to go until transfer deadline day, there are fresh claims of interest in the Newcastle United captain.
It is claimed that he is part of a chain that involved Marcus Rojo set to join Wolves, with Manchester United then going for Harry Maguire, with Leicester City then allegedly willing to let Maguire go, IF they can tie up a deal for Jamaal Lascelles first.
It is The Sun running this story so obviously none of us will take this as fact – but aside their story, the reality always is that you never know what will happen once a club actually moves for a player and puts a deal on the table.
No matter how much we believe Lascelles wouldn’t walk away at this point, you have to always have that worry in the back of your mind due to the way Mike Ashley is running the club.
If Jamaal Lascelles believes (like the rest of us) that Ashley has no intention whatsoever of changing his ways, and that Rafa Benitez is almost certain to walk away himself next summer, if a move to an ambitious club elsewhere was put in front of the player, he would have to be a fool if he didn’t even think about it.
Only one place in the table and three points might have divided Newcastle and Leicester last season but in terms of ambition, they are worlds apart.
As well as a massive new state of the art training complex getting built, the Foxes have spent over £160m these past two seasons on players and another £60m so far in this window, nobody needs reminding how Mike Ashley’s Newcastle model compares to that.
Leicester bought Maguire for only £12m last summer and there is talk of him now being worth up to as much as £80m now.
I can’t quite see any potential successful bid being quite that high but it would be heading in that direction after Maguire’s world cup performances. The Sun claim Leicester would be trying to land Jamaal Lascelles for £35m.
Whatever the figures on a transfer fee, we would all hopes that Jamaal Lascelles would still see Newcastle as a better long-term bet than Leicester BUT it is very difficult (impossible) to justify that at the minute in terms of what we face with Mike Ashley.
We all hope that we can see the back of Ashley one day soon, but I think you would be hard pressed to find any Newcastle fans who would believe that if this NUFC owner is still here this time next year, that either Rafa Benitez or Jamaal Lascelles will also still be at St James Park.