Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez is prepared to allow attacking midfielder Siem De Jong to leave the club, according to The Chronicle.

His departure will only happen if the Spaniard signs a replacement for the 28-year-old before the transfer window closes, however.

The Netherlands international moved from Ajax to Newcastle in 2014 for around £6 million, but due to a combination of injuries and then a loan spell with PSV, he has played just 26 times for the Magpies, managing a brace of goals in that time.

After scoring six times in 23 matches for PSV last season, De Jong returned to the Northeast, but despite remaining injury-free and featuring in pre-season matches under Benitez, it now seems he may not be at the club for much longer.

The Chronicle claim that Grant Hanley, Massadio Haidara, Achraf Lazaar and Henri Saivet have been told they can leave the club and offers for Aleksandar Mitrovic, Emmanuel Riviere, as well as De Jong, will be accepted if they meet the club’s valuation and replacements are lined up.

For now, he is battling with Mohamed Diame and Ayoze Perez to line up alongside Dwight Gayle up front as Benitez fine tunes his side’s preparations for the Premier League opener against Tottenham Hotspur next weekend.

Recent speculation has linked Newcastle with a move for Arsenal striker Lucas Perez, who could cost the Magpies around £14 million.

Given his grounding at Ajax – where he made 244 appearances – and his impressive spell with PSV last season, clubs in the Netherlands may well be interested in a move, although no concrete interest has been reported as yet.

However, an unfortunate run of injuries, including a collapsed lung in 2015 and an eye problem last year, is likely to put bidders off from paying more than they feel he is worth.


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