Newcastle boss ready to play hard ball over £10m Arsenal target, set for talks

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez is determined to keep in demand midfielder Moussa Sissoko at the club next season, despite their relegation into the Championship, according to the Chronicle Live.

The Frenchman has been linked with a £10m move to Arsenal after proving unable to stop the Magpies’ plight into the second tier, despite a late resurgence under the Spanish coach.

However, upon agreeing to stay on Tyneside, the former Chelsea boss roared he would not have to sell players unless he wanted to this summer.

Wholesale changes had been mooted, but the strong figurehead of the 56-year old Champions League winner could indeed be enough to keep most of the squad together.

It is believed he intends to sit down the former Toulouse midfielder after Euro 2016 in an effort to try and convince him to stay at St. James’ Park next season.

Sissoko was made club captain towards the end of the season by Benitez, indicating he views the marauding Frenchman as a trusted lieutenant.