According to reports in The Mirror, Newcastle United captain Jamaal Lascelles is a £25m summer target for Everton, who have joined Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur in the race to sign the highly-rated defender.
Well, The Mirror says that the Merseyside outfit want to strengthen at the heart of their defence and are ready to splash out the same £25m fee on the Magpies skipper that they got Burnley’s Michael Keane for last summer.
Lascelles has been one of the Tyneside outfit’s standout performers this term as they preserved their Premier League status with five matches left to play following a four-match winning run during March and April, and he still has five years remaining on the six-year deal he signed to stay at St James’ Park last summer.
He has been brilliant, and a real leader in the backline.
There have been times when Newcastle have looked in real danger of being dragged into the relegation scrap, but they have fought back every time and 24-year-old’s displays committed displays epitomise just how they did it.
The vocal centre-back isn’t afraid to throw his body on the line for his team, and in many ways it is no surprise that he is attracting interest from other Premier League clubs – Toon fans on Twitter are certainly not impressed with the latest report, however.
If Rafa Benitez stays, he simply won’t accept the club selling Lascelles unless it is for an extraordinary fee – likely at least double what Everton are reportedly willing to offer for the centre-back.
The Spanish manager will want to continue to build his side around a leader that clearly cares for the Tyneside outfit, and there is no doubt that if he carries on his form from this season into the 2018/19 campaign that he will be in Gareth Southgate’s England squad on a regular basis.
£25m isn’t enough for a player that still has five years left on his contract in this day and age, and Newcastle have no need to accept anything lower than what they would demand after preserving their Premier League status for another year.