Magpies boss Benitez hoping for summer transfer cash boost

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez is hoping to boost his summer transfer kitty as he prepares to re-shape his squad for a second season back in the Premier League.

The Spaniard has been promised he will get “every penny generated by the club” by owner Mike Ashley, although fans who have witnessed three difficult transfer windows during his reign to date remain unconvinced that the hierarchy shares the manager’s ambition.

Benitez is yet to agree a contract extension at St James’ Park – he has a year left on his remaining deal – after weeks of discussions, although Press Association Sport understands both sides, while keen to find a resolution, are relatively relaxed about the situation despite links with the Spain job this week.

In the meantime, the 58-year-old is looking to supplement whatever funds he is given by Ashley with the proceeds from a series of sales of players he deems surplus to requirements with central defender Chancel Mbemba the closest to an exit.

The £8million-rated 23-year-old DR Congo international has reportedly agreed personal terms with Portuguese side Porto having also attracted the interest of former club Anderlecht, and is now waiting for a deal to be struck between the two clubs.

His agent Fabio Baglio told Mais Futebol: “Negotiations are now happening between the two clubs. We were in Porto this week and the player has agreed a deal for four years.

“This week, there will be a response from Newcastle to FC Porto’s proposal. We are convinced that everything will be settled.”

Striker Aleksandar Mitrovic spent the second half of last season on loan at Fulham, where his 12 goals helped to club to secure promotion to the Premier League.

He is currently on World Cup duty with Serbia, for whom he scored a hat-trick in a 5-1 friendly victory over Bolivia last Saturday, although does not appear to have a long-term future under Benitez.

Mitrovic cost the Magpies £14.5million when he joined from Anderlecht during the summer of 2015 and they are looking for a significant return on their investment should Fulham – or anyone else, for that matter – attempt to secure a permanent transfer.

Massadio Haidara and Jesus Gamez will no longer be Newcastle players when their deals expire at the end of this month, while a series of other men – among them midfielder Jack Colback, who went on loan to Nottingham Forest in January – are available.

However, Benitez is desperate to hang on to the vast majority of the men who played key roles in last season’s 10th-place finish with skipper Jamaal Lascelles having already been touted as a big-money target for Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool and Everton.

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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