Suggested Solutions: Deadwood Newcastle should shift to boost transfer budget

It is no secret that Mike Ashley keeps an extremely tight rein on the transfer budget at Newcastle. In fact, the Magpies have still not broken their transfer record since the £16m signing of Michael Owen from Real Madrid in the summer of 2005.

Current boss Rafa Benitez must sell players in order to raise funds that can then be put back into the squad, a rule that has frustrated both the fans and the Spanish manager alike.

So far this summer, the club have sold midfielder Mikel Merino to Real Sociedad and brought in former loanee Martin Dubravka and ex-Swansea man Ki Sung-yueng on permanent deals, as well as Chelsea winger Kenedy on loan. The Brazilian spent the second half of last season on loan with Newcastle and excited fans with his displays in that short amount of time.

Thankfully for Benitez’s budget, if he does have his eye on a couple of new signings then there is no shortage of deadwood in the current Newcastle squad that can be sold on to free up capital and room on the wage bill. With that in mind, Football FanCast has taken a look at who should be shown the exit door at St James’s this summer.

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Chancel Mbemba

Chancel Mbemba celebrates scoring

The Northern Echo has reported that Mbemba has been told not to return for pre-season training this summer as Portuguese champions Porto have expressed an interest in signing the Congolese international.

The 23-year-old centre-back has been at St James’s since 2015 but has struggled to break into the team under Benitez, playing just nine Premier League matches during the last campaign.

Valued at £5.4m by Transfermarkt and with good experience for his reasonably young age, Mbemba could command a sizeable transfer fee that Rafa could use to invest in a central defender who is more suited to his style of play.

Jack Colback

According to The Northern Echo, Colback is close to completing a permanent transfer to Nottingham Forest, where he spent the second half of last season on loan. The Englishman has been at Newcastle since 2014 after he made the controversial switch from Sunderland on a free transfer.

Getting the defensive midfielder’s £40,000 per week wages off the bill will be a huge relief for Benitez, who does not see the 28-year-old as part of his plans and had banished him to the U23 side before his switch to Forest last season.

Joselu

There aren’t many other ways to describe Joselu that don’t include the term ‘flop’. The Spanish striker signed for Stoke in 2015 and managed just four goals in all competitions during his first season in England.

After spending the 2016/17 season on loan at Deportivo La Coruna, Joselu was signed by Benitez for £5m in August 2017. The deal struck many as somewhat of a panic buy when the club couldn’t find a striker within the relatively small budget and Joselu again managed only four goals in a 32 game season.

It’s time for Newcastle to cut their losses and sell Joselu, especially as the club have been heavily linked with West Brom striker Salomon Rondon.

Dwight Gayle

Rather than being described as deadwood, some would argue that Gayle should look to force a move away from St James’s this summer for his own benefit. Now 27 years old, the Londoner played 35 times in the Premier League last season but only managed six goals in total.

This has been a similar story for Gayle in the Premier League throughout his career with both Palace and Newcastle. In fact, the two seasons that he has spent in the Championship have been the most prolific. After signing for the then newly relegated Magpies in 2016, Gayle bagged 23 goals as they won the league and bounced straight back to the Prem. He also netted 13 goals for Peterborough in the Championship during the 2012/13 season.

Valued at £8.8m by Transfermarkt, Gayle would be a perfect signing for a club in the second tier and would bring in good money for Newcastle.