While there might be a sense of excitement from Newcastle United fans going into the summer transfer window, there are always nerves on Tyneside over their own stars departing St James’ Park.
As has been proven so often under owner Mike Ashley, every player in the senior side has their price, no matter how important they might be to the first team, and a big price tag will always win out over the hopes of the Toon Army seeing them keep hold of their top talents.
The Magpies might not have shipped anyone significant out since the mass exodus following their relegation, but the fear will always remain, especially when their star men are reportedly catching the eyes of their top flight rivals.
The latest name to be linked with the exit is defender and club captain Jamaal Lascelles, with the Mirror claiming that Everton are keen on splashing £25million on securing his signing this summer.
The 24-year-old is one of the club’s most important players and letting him leave would cause great upset across Newcastle – which is why fans will be delighted with Rafael Benitez’s comments on his potential exit.
Speaking to the Chronicle, he said: “(Would you considering selling Lascelles?) Not really. Jamaal is a key player for us. If you want to continue growing, normally you have to try to keep your best players.
“Jamaal has a great potential but if you cannot compete or you cannot keep the level of your team, then maybe you have to sell one player to be sure you can bring in other players.
“If you don’t have the money, the main thing is to be sure if you sell this one for £40 million you have two at £20 million who can do well, then you can be better.”
However, while Lascelles might be set to stay at Tyneside, the fans’ joy might not last for long if Benitez’s final comments are anything to go by.
He recognises that, especially with the lack of financial backing from Ashley, many of his funds for the summer will come from transfer sales, and while some of the deadwood set to be shipped out will help garner cash to spend, there may have to be a big-name exit.
Who that might be is as yet unclear, but with so many of this Newcastle side adored by the Toon Army, there will likely be heartbreak whoever departs.
In other Newcastle United transfer news, the club must pounce on a Celtic flyer desperate to secure an exit to England this summer.