By Russell Edge

7th Mar, 2018 | 5:33pm

Newcastle to ship £15m-rated attacker in summer if one man remains after damning revelation


The career of Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic at Newcastle United is over for as long as manager Rafael Benitez is there after a damning revelation of why he was shipped out in January.

The Chronicle have claimed on their website that the Spanish manager was willing to give the 23-year-old a chance to save himself after falling out of favour, with Joselu and Dwight Gayle both taking their places ahead in the first team pecking order.

However, it is stated his performances in training were not good enough to warrant being lifted into the senior side, hence his limited appearances during the first half of the season, and that he is being rated at £15million ahead of the summer window.

Sent out to Fulham on loan in a hectic deadline day for the striker, he has hit the ground running and has been in red hot form for the Cottagers, netting five goals in seven appearances, all of which have come in his last four outings.

However, while he is being entrusted with a regular role with the Championship club, Benitez demands more than just goals from his strikers, and after picking up a ban for violent conduct against West Ham, a game he scored in, doubts would have firmly been at the forefront of the Spaniard’s mind.

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The training ground was Mitrovic’s chance to regain the manager’s trust and show he was putting in the extra effort for the senior side, but although an injury curtailed his availability, the performances were not enough for Benitez and he was axed in favour of the incoming Islam Slimani.

The former Liverpool manage does not demand quality, for that is something that can be worked on and developed with the coaches.

Instead, he simply demands dedication and an impeccable work ethic, something seriously lacking from Mitrovic’s game.

His form for Fulham will be earning him some potential suitors ahead of the summer transfer market, and having been unable to show he has what it takes for Benitez, it looks likely to be the end of his career on Tyneside.

In other Newcastle United transfer news, the club have opened talks to snap up a Champions League midfielder.

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