Unsettled Magpies may not be allowed to fly the nest, says Rafa.
Byline: CHRIS WAUGH Sports writer email@example.com @CHRISDHWAUGH
RAFA Benitez is prepared to keep wantaway Newcastle United stars at St James' Park if it is in the best interests of the club - even if it takes them one or two months to come to terms with playing in the Championship.
Moussa Sissoko is widely expected to follow Georginio Wijnaldum out of the exit door in the coming days, while Cheick Tiote and Florian Thauvin are also eager to depart Tyneside.
But Magpies boss Benitez will not allow any player to depart unless it is in the best interests of United; only if Newcastle already have cover in a certain position, or can sign a replacement easily, will any wantaway squad member depart.
Newcastle are still on the hunt for a forward and an attacking-midfielder, but further incomings could also arrive should other players leave.
"It depends on each one," Benitez replied when it was put to him that, although the club are under no financial pressure to sell, it would perhaps be unwise to keep a player against their will.
"Some players maybe we will need them - and they will have to stay.
"Some players we will know that we can replace them for good players and they can leave.
"But it depends on each one, the positions, the offers - a lot of things.
"In the end it depends on us, so we have to decide if we want to keep a player or not.
"But what I want are players who are 100% convinced that they have to stay here and they have to compete and they have to win."