Sissoko began the European Championships as a player not expected to play a huge role for Didier Deschanps’ team but emerged as a key man, prompting links with Liverpool, Everton and Tottenham Hotspur during the tournament. But the 26-year-old has three years left on his contract and the club feel no need to get involved in discussions with him now that the tournament is finished. Unless a very substantial offer comes in, the club would see him as a valuable part of the team which will be competing to win immediate promotion back to the Premier League.
Manager Rafael Benitez’s relationship with Sissoko is a good one. The Spaniard spotted immediately that the French midfielder had the potential to play a bigger role than he had been at Newcastle, dropping £12m £80,000-a-week Jonjo Shelvey and selecting the Frenchman, who was handed the captain’s armband.
His performance in the draw against Manchester City as Newcastle fought for survival was particularly memorable, coming on the night which cemented the sense among Newcastle fans that Benitez was the man to resurrect the club. His overall contribution at the back end of the season was mixed, though in the final game of the season – the 5-1 win against Tottenham - he played a key role, providing an assist and winning a penalty.
Newcastle announced on Monday that Isaac Hayden has joined from Arsenal on a five-year deal. The 21-year-old joins primarily as a defensive midfielder but he can also cover at centre-back.
Hayden becomes the fifth summer signing for Benitez, whose leading central defensive target is Blackburn's Scottish international defender Grant Hanley.
Benitez and his management team are relaxed about Sissoko taking the time off he is entitled to now and welcoming him back for the start of the new campaign.
When Benitez arrived on Tyneside, he remembered Sissoko from the afternoon when he had his Chelsea side to St James' Park in 2013. The Frenchman scored twice as Newcastle came from behind to win 3-2. It is often the way with managers that they remember the players who have done them damage.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies