By Dominic Toner
Rafa Benitez has insisted that he will use midfielder Moussa Sissoko while he is still at Newcastle.
The Telegraph claim that Real Madrid are expected to move for Sissoko once Manchester United confirm they have won the race for Paul Pogba.
“At the moment we don’t have this offer on the table and we still have a good player with us,” Benitez told the Chronicle. “He will come back and start training, then after we will see what is going on during the week.
“I don’t think he would be ready for Fulham. But then again he is physically very strong. If he stays and we have to play him he will be fine. Not maybe for the next game, but thereafter he’ll be fine.”
Newcastle set a huge £35million price tag on Sissoko earlier this month, in the wake of his display in the Euro 2016 final.
Sissoko is contracted with Newcastle until June 2019, but prefers an immediate move back to top-flight football rather than fighting for promotion in the Championship next season.
The France international was the outstanding player for his team at Euro 2016 as they lost 1-0 to Portugal in the final, after emerging as a regular in the tournament’s latter stages.
Sissoko was a mainstay for the Magpies last season, and was named captain by Rafael Benitez for the final matches of the campaign.
However, he scored just one goal from 39 appearances and 3,402 minutes of action, a poor return for a player with 35 caps for France and one who plays so high up the pitch.
Despite some high profile names departing from St James’ Park this summer, manager Rafa Benitez has already been recruiting with stars such as Matt Ritchie and Dwight Gayle joining.
Newcastle begin their Championship campaign on Friday against Fulham on Friday and Sissoko could still yet feature.
In other Newcastle transfer news, they are in the market to sign three more attacking players.