Newcastle boss Benitez is ready to get ruthless

Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez ready to get ruthless

Wednesday, 14th June 2017, 6:20 am
Updated Thursday, 15th June 2017, 8:51 am
Rafa Benitez.

Benitez guided the Magpies back to the top flight in his first full season in charge of the club.

But a number of United’s Championship-winning players are already fearing for their futures.

Benitez has already opted against giving utility player Vurnon Anita a new deal, while striker Daryl Murphy has revealed that the club will listen to offers for him this summer.

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Frontman Aleksandar Mitrovic is also set for talks over his future.

And a number of other players, including some big names, are likely to leave St James’s Park in the transfer window.

Benitez was also coy last month when asked whether defender Jamaal Lascelles – who ably led the club in the Championship – would continue as captain in the top flight next season.

“He’s the captain now,” said Benitez. “We’ll see next season.”

Rob Elliot and Karl Darlow are aware that Benitez, strongly linked with a move for Napoli’s Pepe Reina, could bring in a new first-choice goalkeeper.

Long-standing club No 1 Tim Krul, linked with Anderlecht, also faces an uncertain future on his return to Newcastle.

Krul – who spent the second half of last season on loan at AZ Alkmaar – has just one year left on his contract.

Speaking last month, Krul said: “I’ve been at Newcastle for 11 seasons.

“It’s part of my life – a massive part of my life.”

Forward Siem de Jong – who spent last season on loan at PSV Eindhoven – is not in Benitez’s plans.

And left-back Achraf Lazaar, signed last summer from Palermo, could leave the black and whites having only made a handful of appearances.

Meanwhile, forward Yoan Gouffran, like Anita, is out of contract this summer.

Benitez revealed last week that the club was in discussions with Gouffran’s agent over a new deal at St James’s Park.

However, Gouffran, 31, may be reluctant to take a shorter-term deal at this stage of his career.