By Russell Edge

8th Jan, 2018 | 8:17pm

After wantaway report, Newcastle must secure one man's immediate exit to secure PL safety

COMMENT
A report claiming Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey is seeking an exit in January means that the club must look to secure his immediate departure to help secure their Premier League survival.
The London Evening Standard have claimed that the 25-year-old is keen to move back down south in a transfer move, with West Ham said to be circling for his signature.
If the wantaway claims are true, then manager Rafael Benitez should have no qualms in triggering a bidding war for his services and offloading him from the club as soon as possible.
It has been well documented that the Magpies are set to struggle to show any financial firepower during the current window, and that player sales may be the only way to raise the necessary funds.
Unfortunately for Benitez, he is already working with a paper-thin squad, and does not have many bodies to expend in search of an increased transfer kitty.
The likes of Jack Colback and Henri Saivet may garner some sort of fee – if any other clubs are willing to meet their wage demands – while outcast Aleksandar Mitrovic is another who, while the Spanish manager is open to selling, will struggle to find suitors who can hit the asking price for his services.
However Shelvey, with his proven Premier League talent and an international cap under his belt, is a much more valuable asset, and one which Benitez would be reluctant to let leave, but the wantaway report could change everything.
Any player with one eye exit will not have the right mindset to compete in what is looking like a battle for Premier League survival at St James’ Park, and while he is an important player on Tyneside, he is by no means irreplaceable.
The funds which his sale would raise – likely to be in excess of the £12million spent on him in 2016 – would give Benitez some sort of manoeuvrability in the transfer market and allow him to reinforce more important areas than midfield, with Isaac Hayden and Mikel Merino coping more than adequately in the centre of the park.
However, his exit must be secured sooner rather than later in order to give the boss time to source the best transfer deals possible and give the club a better chance of top flight survival.
Leaving it late would by typical fashion at Newcastle and threaten the club’s future – just look at lurch the sale of Andy Carroll left them in 2011.
In other Newcastle United transfer news, a top flight club have opened talks about signing a Magpies fans’ favourite.
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