With Rafa Benitez now in talks with the club over his future on Tyneside, one thing that’s certain to be on the agenda is this summer’s transfer budget.
While I expect him to be offered more than the £40m spent last summer, I’m not expecting Ashley to loosen his purse strings too much.
With this in mind, raising funds via player sales may be a wise move – especially when there’s a few on our books who could earn a few bob to put towards Rafa’s summer transfer budget:
Aleksandar Mitrovic – £20m
Given what players go for in this day and age, I don’t think we’ll have much problems flogging the in-form Serbian for at LEAST £20m. Fulham will be pushing to make his loan move permanent, and I’m quite sure they’ll pay the required fee IF they earn promotion to the Premier League this summer. He’s not in Rafa’s plans and that £20m could be spent on signing Kenedy or a new proven striker.
Dwight Gayle – £15m
We rejected a £15m from Fulham for the 27-year-old last summer, but I get the feeling Benitez would be open to letting him go – but only IF we had replaced secured. We’re light on strikers, so selling another appears to make little sense, but he’s looked woefully out of sorts all season. He works hard and buzzes about, but he has just 5 goals all season – and that’s not going to cut it if Rafa’s planning to push this Newcastle team on next season. I wouldn’t be all that surprised if he’s not with us anymore on the first day of next season..
Chancel Mbemba – £10m
Quite incredibly, the talented defender hasn’t made a single one of Rafa’s Premier League squads since the turn of the year. He’s currently our fourth choice centre-back, but he’s better than that in all honesty – he’s just not a ‘Rafa Benitez’ player it seems. Fully expect him to leave this summer, and for a half decent fee too.
Karl Darlow – £5m
Middlesbrough had a £5m bid rejected for Darlow last summer, but I read since that he was going to be allowed to leave if we replaced him – but we didn’t. With Dubravka our new number one (and all set to sign), Elliot likely to accept a squad role and Woodman being one for the future, I can see Darlow securing a move to a top-end Championship side this summer.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to who could be sold this summer as well. We’ll be open to offers for Aarons, Sels, Lazaar, Saivet and Colback.
So, in theory, that could be £50m for four players making little to no impact on this current NUFC team. It doesn’t actually buy you a great deal these days, but it may be worth cashing in on all of the above if it allows us to sign Kenedy, Dubravka and a proven striker.