The Magpies are currently three points from safety with eight games left and have played what many suspect to be their last role of the dice in appointing Rafa Benitez as manager after sacking Steve McClaren.
Although there is still time to move clear of the drop – Sunderland and Norwich are their main rivals for safety – there is a fear that the trap door may be unavoidable, and reports claim that the club are ready to make big names stay in a bid to secure an immediate return to the top tier.
It’s understood that many of the North East outfit’s main men do not have relegation release clauses in their contracts, and although interest is likely to be strong owner Mike Ashley is committed to keeping them on, even though the Tynesiders’ wage bill will be far, far above that of other Championship sides.
However, this may be easer said than done, with the likes of Moussa Sissoko, Cheick Tiote, Tim Krul, Daryl Janmaat and Georginio Wijnaldum all international players.
Newcastle were last relegated in 2009, but were able to bounce straight back with a team that included Kevin Nolan, Joey Barton, Fabricio Coloccini, Jonas Gutierrez and Jose Enrique.