By North-east correspondent Harry Sykes
Up to 10 Newcastle players are expected to leave the club this summer in the wake of their relegation from the Premier League, according to a report.
The Chronicle claim that Andros Townsend, Georginio Wijnaldum, Daryl Janmaat and Moussa Sissoko are all prime candidates to find new clubs.
It is also said that Cheick Tiote, Papiss Cisse and Tim Krul, who are approaching the final year of their deals, could depart in the close season.
Trio Steven Taylor, Sylvain Marveuax and Gabriel Obertan are out of contract and are not expected to be offered new deals.
Newcastle chiefs recognise that some of the players will have to be sold to generate a transfer kitty for Rafael Benitez, who is now expected to stay on as manager even though the club are in the Championship next season.
The Spaniard has held two rounds of talks with the club and is close to reaching an agreement to take on the challenge of steering Newcastle back to the Premier League at the first attempt.
That would be a huge boost for the club and their supporters, with all parties now working on the assumption that Benitez will be in charge of the recruitment policy this summer.
In other Newcastle news, Benitez has identified a £3million Premier League player as his first possible summer signing.