The headline may be shocking to many on Tyneside but before you hit the thumbs down button there is some justification to this bold claim.
The Magpies were hotly backed at the start of the season at sites like footballbets.tips to make a swift return to the Promised Land, it means Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez will need to make some additions to the squad.
Sunderland are enduring a miserable time in the Premier League this season and after numerous escape acts, it appears the trap door’s hinges have been well oiled and in perfect working order for the Black Cats to finally succumb to the drop.
There may not be many Sunderland players right now who would get in the Newcastle team but there is one, Jermaine Defoe.
The former Spurs striker may be 34, but there is no denying his credentials, 33 goals in 78 games for the Black Cats is some return for a player who appeared to retire to the MLS a few years back.
Defoe’s performances have also earned him a deserved recall to the national side meaning he still has plenty to offer.
Consistent goal scorers are hard to find and Defoe is one of the best, with Benitez’s over reliance on Dwight Gale (who is still to fully prove himself at Premier League level) and back up in short supply, a striker will be a priority come the summer.
Daryl Murphy has not been the signing the Magpies were hoping for and Aleksandar Mitrovic is often more liability than poacher.
Defoe has already admitted that he would be keen on a move elsewhere if (ahem when) Sunderland get relegated, saying he needs to be playing in the Premier League to keep up his chances of playing for England.
Already settled into the North-East, a move would actually make sense for all parties involved with Newcastle gaining an experienced goal scorer and Sunderland reducing a hefty wage from their bill.
This is of course nothing more than speculation and a game of ‘What if’ and there is the small stumbling block of Defoe’s contract which runs until 2019.
Contracts may be fickle in this day and age but suffering a relegation and selling your best player to your immediate rival would hardly endear David Moyes to the suffering Sunderland fans
The North-East is a passionate place where football is in the blood, rivalries go deep and what makes sense on paper, does not necessarily mean it will happen.