Date: 13th December 2016 at 6:08pm
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COMMENT By Will Butcher

A summer overhaul saw Rafa Benitez bring in 12 new additions to the Newcastle squad.

Keeping them all happy has been a major task for the Spaniard, with most of his first-team stars firmly of the belief that they should be regulars in the Toon’s second-tier side.

With January soon approaching, here are three fringe players that could opt to jump ship next month rather than fight for their place on Tyneside:

Daryl Murphy

In what was a questionable move for both player and club in the summer, it is unsurprising that Murphy has struggled to get regular game time at St. James’ Park.

Ireland international Murphy moved to the Toon for £4million from Championship rivals Ipswich Town, but has failed to make an impact with Dwight Gayle and Aleksander Mitrovic ahead of him in the pecking order.

With injury also preventing the 33-year-old from featuring more than just twice on Tyneside, Murphy could look to leave before the last moments of his career go to waste.

Cheick Tiote

Ivory Coast international Tiote came within a moment’s breath of leaving the Magpies in the summer, with complications surrounding his medical ruining a potential move to Galatasaray.

The former FC Twente midfielder has featured just once all season, as Jonjo Shelvey, Isaac Hayden and Jack Colback continue to impress in the middle of the park.

With his contract set to expire in the summer, Tiote’s future at Newcastle seems to be all but over.

Massadio Haidara

Returning from a long-term injury, Haidara’s fight will not stop there in aiming to return to Benitez’s first team.

With Paul Dummett and Achraf Lazaar already acting as the Toon’s two left-backs, Haidara is unlikely to be given a chance in the near future.

Leaving through the exit door is likely to be his only option in search of game time. If he can declare himself fit by January, then Haidara could sign for a new team in less than a month’s time.

In other Newcastle transfer news, this League One manager is targeting this 24-year-old Toon ace.