This comes from Scott Wilson – the Northern Echo’s Chief Sports Writer – after news that Everton are ready to step up their interest in the 24-year-old and arrives as potentially infuriating news for us NUFC fans.
It’s accepted by all inside St James’ Park that Jamaal Lascelles is the heartbeat of Benitez’s side and an invaluable asset to the club – but if Mike Ashley can’t see that then we have big problems. I’d also argue that he is worth much more than £30m to NUFC!
Here’s a snippet from their slightly disturbing piece today:
“Lascelles was the mainstay of Newcastle’s defence last season, and Benitez will not want to lose him no matter what bids are received this summer.
“The decision could be taken out of his hands though, with both Mike Ashleyand Lee Charnley having previously conceded that every player has their price. Lascelles does not want to leave Newcastle and recently spoke about his satisfaction with life on Tyneside, but Ashley may regard £30m as a fair price for a player who joined Newcastle from Nottingham Forest in the summer of 2014 in a joint deal with Karl Darlow that cost around £7m.”
On the bright side, it’s quite clear that Lascelles himself is fully focused on Newcastle United and knows more than anyone else that it’s the perfect place for him to be right now (although the same was said about Andy Carroll prior to Liverpool’s £35m bid..)
That being said, it’s of real concern to hear that Everton are preparing a £30m bid – an offer which Ashley may be tempted to accept if these claims are anything to go by.
It’s worrying to read, but surely Ashley isn’t stupid enough to do this. He’s currently desperate to see Benitez commit to a new contract, yet selling his captain and most influential player would tip him and us fans over the edge.