Rafa Benitez confirms talks over proposed Newcastle exit

Siem de Jong
Siem de Jong

Siem de Jong is close to sealing a move away from Newcastle United.

The forward was not involved in last night’s 3-2 extra-time Carabao Cup second round defeat to Nottingham Forest at St James’s Park. De Jong is in talks with Ajax over a return to his former club.

Achraf Lazaar gets off the bench in last night's cup tie

Achraf Lazaar gets off the bench in last night's cup tie

And Achraf Lazaar – who came off the bench against Forest – is wanted by Genoa and Atalanta in Italy, while there is also interest from Metz in forward Emmanuel Riviere.

“We have a couple of players in conversations with different clubs,” said United manager Benitez, who needs to move players out before he can bring more in.

“But officially, today, still nothing.”

De Jong, signed from Ajax in the summer of 2014, spent last season on loan at PSV Eindhoven.

Asked about de Jong’s proposed return to Amsterdam, Benitez said: “He’s one of the players talking with another club. We are waiting.”

Benitez also said he didn’t have any news on incoming transfers after the Forest defeat.

The club is hopeful of signing Chelsea’s Brazilian winger, Kenedy, on a season-long loan.

Benitez also wants to sign a goalkeeper and strengthen a number of other positions.

Meanwhile, the cup exit followed Premier League losses to Huddersfield Town and Tottenham Hotspur.

And Newcastle must regroup ahead of Saturday’s home match against West Ham United, who are also seeking a first point of the season.

“The fans know we’re not happy with three defeats, but we will work hard to change that,” said Benitez.

Forest manager Mark Warburton said: “It was about coming to an iconic football stadium and playing on a superb surface and enjoying it.”