Newcastle ready to dig in their heels over £35m-rated Moussa Sissoko

Moussa Sissoko
Moussa Sissoko

Newcastle United will stick to their £35million valuation of Moussa Sissoko.

A clutch of clubs are weighing up moves for the unsettled midfielder, who is looking to leave St James’s Park this summer.

If someone comes with a right offer, we have to listen. But we don’t have to sell.

Rafa Benitez

United manager Rafa Benitez has again stressed that United do NOT have to sell any more players.

And he insisted after Saturday’s 4-0 win over Sporting Lokeren that the club was prepared to “disappoint” one or more players waiting for a “big offer”.

Benitez added that the club would “listen” to offers.

However, when considering any bids they will be mindful of the Premier League’s new multi-billion pound TV deal – and the premium Sissoko’s performances at Euro 2016 put on his value.

Asked about speculation over the future of Sissoko, Benitez said: “You know we don’t talk about our business.

“But that is football and we have a good squad and a lot of expectations. We cannot control that.

“We still have to keep doing our job.

“If someone comes with a right offer, we have to listen.

“But we don’t have to sell. We will try to keep a strong squad.

“Some players, maybe, will be waiting for a big offer (from) a top side in the Premier League or in Europe, but if they have to stay, they have to stay. That’s it.

“They will be disappointed, but we are disappointed because we are in the Championship.”

Real Madrid are the latest club to be linked with Sissoko, who impressed at Euro 2016 with finalists France.

The 26-year-old is due to report back to Tyneside on August 1 ahead of the club’s Championship season-opener against Fulham at Craven Cottage four days later.

Meanwhile, Newcastle take on Phil Brown’s Southend United at Roots Hall tomorrow night in what is their penultimate friendly.

“We’ll see how we are,” said Benitez.

“The main thing is to see the team improving physically, tactically and technically.”