It’s easy to forget when Rafa Benitez’s future and takeover talk has took over in recent weeks, but Newcastle United players are set to return for pre-season training in just 2 weeks.
That said, there’s several players unlikely to report back, either because they’ve been released (Diame), all but sold (Joselu), gone back to their parent clubs after loan spells (Rondon, Kenedy, Barreca) or are simply away looking for another club after being told they have no future despite still being under contract (Elliot, Aarons, Colback, Saivet, Lazaar).
By my reckoning, there’s around 10 players, yet there’s absolutely no sign of us bringing in any replacements as of yet – despite the window being due to shut early in the first week of August this summer.
There’s going to be big changes this summer, whether Rafa stays or not, making it all the more unbelievable and unforgivable that the club have allowed this contract saga and takeover talk to drag on so long.
Not only are we going to be several senior players short going into pre-season, there’s several other players who’s futures seem up in the air.
Perez is being regularly linked with a return to Spain, Hayden fully expects to leave for family reasons, Shelvey’s future seems up in the air and the likes of Gayle and Murphy probably have no idea whether they’re coming or going given their futures may hinge on what happens with Benitez.
Alongside this we also have the fact Lejeune, Yedlin and Longstaff are likely to miss the start of pre-season itself, meaning we are not only in the dark as to who will be taking training, but also short on numbers.
At a time where us fans have been desperate for answers, the silence has been unbearable.
Let’s hope (and pray!) the uncertainty and constant ‘no comments’ over the past month have been because a takeover is bubbling away in the background, with Rafa Benitez unable to speak out until it’s all done and dusted.