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An ‘exclusive’ names 6 Newcastle United players Rafa wants to move on – Reality is more like 13

6 months ago
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A bit of a strange ‘exclusive’ on Sunday morning, concerning Rafa Benitez and a ‘major reshuffle’ he is reportedly planning in the summer.

That is of course, if he is still here…

Six players are named in the report but what exactly makes this an ‘exclusive’ is anybody’s guess.

The six named are Achraf Lazaar, Rolando Aarons, Rob Elliot, Henri Saivet, Callum Roberts and Jack Colback.

Rafa Benitez has already said that he Rob Elliot has no future at NUFC and needs to find another club, whilst it has been widely reported recently that Callum Roberts won’t be offered a new contract when his current deal ends this summer. Roberts turns 22 in April and hasn’t played a single minute of league football for Newcastle.

As for Colback, Aarons, Lazaar and Saivet, the Newcastle boss couldn’t have made it clearer that they have no future.

All four are out on loan at the minute trying to get a move elsewhere, as they would stand zero chance of being in Rafa’s squad next season, if he is still here…

We can take it as read that Rafa Benitez would personally drive those half dozen to a new club but there are a lot of other more interesting potential departures to consider/expect.

Joselu will surely leave if Rafa doesn’t.

As the manager will look to upgrade his squad if getting the backing to convince him to stay, the striker will need to look elsewhere. He turns 29 on Wednesday and his contract ends next (2020) summer, so he should be able to find a club in the Championship or similar, meaning Newcastle save on wages and get a little bit of the £5m they paid, back for him.

Kenedy is somebody who will surely not be given any more chances after this season, whilst Isaac Hayden is another who surely won’t play for Newcastle after this season.

His circumstances are very different and Rafa has recently said he hopes Hayden might stay on but the players’s personal situation doesn’t change. Isaac Hayden is desperate to be near his partner and young child who has serious medical issues and after saying he was desperate to leave these past two windows, will surely get his wish this time. Good luck to him after the form he has shown in difficult circumstances this season.

Antonio Barreca won’t be persevered with as he is no better than the players already here and isn’t even making the bench.

Whilst Mohamed Diame is somebody else who I think will be moving elsewhere. Even if Hayden goes, Rafa Benitez would have Longstaff, Ki and Shelvey available, plus I think he will be keen to add another young better quality central midfielder to that mix. Diame turns 32 in June and I just can’t see him getting the two year minimum contract he wants, especially as one of Newcastle’s better paid players.

Karl Darlow is somebody who will be looking at his options and depending on  Rafa Benitez and Dubravka staying, I think he will be out of the door as well. Darlow turns 29 in October and has only one year remaining on his contract, he needs first team football and Newcastle will be looking at banking a few quid and bringing in hopefully a better quality keeper to compete with Dubravka and the up and coming Freddie Woodman.

Two slightly more contentious potential/probable leavers are Christian Atsu and Ciaran Clark.

Both have two years left on their contracts but if Rafa stays and wants to progress his squad, then I can see these two making way for new arrivals.

Clark turns 30 in September and the manager will maybe be looking for a younger left-footed centre-back to add to the mix of Schar, Lejeune, Fernandez and Lascelles.

Whilst Atsu has played a little better as the season has went on, he still hasn’t got a single Premier League goal or assist this campaign, a player with very little end product.

By my count that makes it 13 players Rafa Benitez would be keen to move on, in my opinion, plus Isaac Hayden wanting/needing to leave due to family reasons.

As for players such as current loans Dwight Gayle and Jacob Murphy, their future could well depend on just how much backing Rafa Benitez will get to change things around, if convinced to extend his stay.

From The Chronicle on Sunday morning:

‘EXCLUSIVE: Rafa planning major reshuffle which could six exit, reports Lee Ryder

Major reshuffle at Newcastle United on the cards if Rafa Benitez stays with SIX players potentially set for Toon exit

Rafa Benitez is expected to perform a major reshuffle with his Toon squad this summer – IF he stays on as Newcastle United boss.

With United owner Mike Ashley again wanting managing director Lee Charnley to cut his cloth accordingly with finances, it could see a clutch of players depart Benton as the club look to make funds available for incoming stars.

Benitez did not register Rob Elliot or Rolando Aarons as Premier League players this season and with time on their contracts left, both could be sold to clear the wage bill.

Achraf Lazaar is another that United are ready to listen to offers for with the Morocco international also on loan with Sheff Wed.

Jack Colback has another year left on his contract but knows he is unlikely to have a future at United – regardless of whether Benitez stays or not.

Others to depart will be Henri Saivet where United will look to make a saving of £35,000 per week.

Newcastle have already told winger Cal Roberts he can leave at the end of the season after a recent loan deal with Colchester United was cut short over a lack of game-time.’

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