With the season drawing to a close, it won’t be long before Benitez enters what promises to be another huge summer of change for the club.
Hopefully his future at the club is soon sorted out, but if and when it is, he’ll be a busy man managing our transfer plans, with several players to move out before he can really start reshaping his squad.
With this in mind, here’ seven senior players I expect Rafa to cash in on this summer and why:
The centre-back is a promising young player and one plenty NUFC fans rate, but it’s becoming more and more clear he’s not part of Rafa’s plans. He’s currently our fourth choice centre-back but will be desperate for first team football – and he deserves it in fairness. Moving him on this summer would just make sense for all parties. £10m?
He’s in a very similar category to Mbemba, expect Mitro will probably demand a pretty sizeable fee after his superb form at Fulham. Rafa will want a new striker and he was third choice at NUFC as it is, so I can’t see a scenario where he’s not sold. We’ll get a big fee and he’ll find a move to get the first team football he’s craves. £20m?
Rafa’s recently said that he’s upped his game in training since Dubravka arrived, but he nearly joined Middlesbrough over the summer in search of first team football and I can see all parties feeling a move may be the best for him once again this time around. I can see a decent Championship side snapping him up. £5m?
Lets be honest, he has no future at NUFC as long as Rafa’s here. He’s proven he can do a good job in the Championship with Forest, so there’ll be plenty interested. He has just one year left on his NUFC deal, so the fee won’t be big, but it’ll be another space freed up in the squad – also moving on a player on decent wages, which helps. £3-4m?
The Senegalese international is currently on loan with Turkish side Sivasspor after being surplus to requirements as Newcastle’s fifth choice centre-midfielder. Whether we’ll find a buyer is open for debate, but he’s another who’ll almost certainly be moved on this summer if someone is ready to take him off our hands. £3-4m?
With Dubravka all set to sign, Woodman highly rated and Elliot and Darlow both ahead of him in the pecking order, he’s arguably fifth choice at NUFC despite being brought in to be our new number one less than 2 years ago. It sounds like Anderlecht will take him on a permanent providing they qualify for the Champions League. £3-4m?
Despite being a fairly recent Rafa Benitez signing, he’s never really got a look in and will have done nothing to change that during his nightmare spell at Benevento (which was recently cut short). I’m not convinced we’ll even find a buyer, but he and his team will be pushing for an escape route. A move to the MLS has been touted. £2-3m?
With Gamez and Haidara set to also be released at the end of the season, I think we could be set for a fairly sizeable clear out this summer. There’s a few in that list who may end up earning loans once again (not sure how many will want them permanently), but if we were able to sell all of the seven of the above, that could earn us a sum in excess of £40m.
Let’s just hope that goes straight into Rafa’s transfer kitty – even if there’s a year Ashley will cash what he can before selling up at St James’ Park!
Let us know your thoughts – would you sell all of the above this summer?