Newcastle United striker close to exit as Rafa Benitez mulls over offer from Mike Ashley

Joselu’s set to leave Newcastle United after two years at St James’s Park – but NOT before Rafa Benitez’s future is decided.

Friday, 7th June 2019, 5:00 am
Updated Friday, 7th June 2019, 7:00 am

Reports in Spain claim that the striker, signed two years ago from Stoke City on a three-year deal, is close to sealing a move to Alaves.

The 29-year-old only made five Premier League starts for the club last season.

And Joselu, keen to play week in, week out after a year on the fringes at St James’s Park, admitted last month that he had “possibilities”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Speaking in Spain, Joselu said: “I have possibilities to change (my team), but it will depend on the new direction that will come to the club.

"I have one year left on my contract at Newcastle."

Mundo Deportivo report that it is only a “matter of time” before Joselu, signed for £5million, completes a switch to La Liga club Alaves.

However, Benitez has the final say on all outgoings until his contract expires on June 30, and United’s manager is not expected to sanction any sales before he makes a decision on his future.

The 59-year-old has been considering an offer from owner Mike Ashley to stay at the club following talks in London last month.

Joselu, meanwhile, started last season in Benitez’s team.

The Stuttgart-born player scored two goals, against Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea, in the club’s opening three Premier League games.

However, the arrival of Salomon Rondon on a season-long loan from West Bromwich Albion saw him lose his place, and he only made nine league and cup starts for the club in the 2018-19 campaign.

Benitez will want to sign Rondon on a permanent deal if he stays at the club.

Joselu scored four league goals in his first season at United.

And he spoke about the pressures of leading the line for the club last pre-season.

“When you play as a striker, the pressure is different at all the clubs,” said Joselu. “All the people focus on you, because you have to score every game. It's difficult, because this league is so hard.

“But we have a very good team and very good team-mates.”