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Opinion: Rafael Benitez staying at Newcastle, but these five players might not

Newcastle United could be about to receive the major boost that they need after their relegation from the Premier League, with Rafael Benitez reportedly poised to stay on as manager.

According to Sky Sports, the 56-year-old has struck a deal to remain in charge at St James’ Park, which includes assurances over full control of player recruitment and transfer budgets.

Benitez’s future seems to be secured, but there are a host of other big names who could leave Newcastle this summer. Here are five players that we think the Spaniard may find hard to keep.

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Moussa Sissoko

The France international is highly unlikely to want to play in the Championship. He was not at his best this season, but can be unstoppable on his day, and The Mirror claims he is a target for Arsenal.

Moussa Sissoko - Newcastle United

Ayoze Perez

The 22-year-old did not play as significant a role for Newcastle this term as might have been expected, but is a very talented boy who is attracting interest from Barcelona, according to The Chronicle.

Ayoze Perez Newcastle United

Tim Krul

The Dutch goalkeeper missed most of Newcastle’s relegation campaign with a serious injury. Rob Elliot and Karl Darlow are good enough for the Championship, so Benitez may wish to cash in on Krul.

Tim Krul Newcastle United

Georginio Wijnaldum

Eleven goals from midfield in your first Premier League season will not go unnoticed. There are likely to be plenty of suitors for Wijnaldum after he proved that he can perform at the highest level.

Georginio Wijnaldum

Andros Townsend

Townsend was the success story of Newcastle’s January splurge, scoring four goals in 12 games. Plenty of top-flight clubs might fancy taking him, but the winger has a chance to be a cult hero on Tyneside.

Andros Townsend

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