Newcastle transfer news: Moussa Sissoko will cost £35m after Euro 2016 star turn

Rafael Benitez does not wish to sell the 26-year-old France international

Ian Herbert
Chief Sports Writer
Monday 11 July 2016 15:16
Sissoko impressed despite France's Euro 2016 final defeat
Sissoko impressed despite France's Euro 2016 final defeat

Newcastle United have no intention of selling France’s European Championship star Moussa Sissoko unless the price is right and would want to begin negotiating at around £35m for the player.

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.

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