According to the Chronicle, Rafa Benitez has told Jamaal Lascelles that he must reject a big money move away this summer to play regularly and continue develop his game at NUFC – reminding the skipper that he has a ‘key part to play’ next season.
This comes after a week of speculation linking the skipper with a move away from St James’ Park, with Chelsea, Spurs and Everton having all been heavily linked.
The Evening Standard claim Chelsea have identified him as a ‘key target’, whilst the same story understands that he’s seen by Mauricio Pochettino as a replacement for Toby Alderweireld – suggesting we could listen to offers at around £45m.
Rafa is clearly desperate to hold onto his captain, however, and is believed to have told him the following after a week of speculation (taken from the Chronicle):
“Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez has told Jamaal Lascelles to develop at St James’ Park
“Rafa Benitez’s stance on Lascelles is that he wants to keep the player at St James’ Park and believes there is still room for development in the centre-back’s game.
“He thinks playing regularly – and captaining a big club – is the best for his development and has told Lascelles that he has a key part to play in his plans for next season.”
This is bang on. Lascelles may go on to bigger and better things than Newcastle United (although big things could be achieved here if someone came in and backed Benitez), however it’s quite clear that he’s exactly where he needs to be right now.
He seems quite sure of that too, but it remains to be seen as to whether Mike Ashley would cash in if a huge offer arrives. It’s also hard to know how Lascelles himself would react if Tottenham – a team full of English internationals – offered him guaranteed first-team football and a huge salary.
What do you reckon folks – will he be a NUFC player come the opening day of the season in August?
I sincerely hope so.