All the latest news, views and transfer rumours from St. James' Park...
Newcastle are set for a big summer as the club looks to bounce back from a shocking second half of the season, and manager Alan Pardew will be looking to wheel and deal in order to succeed. One of the names linked with an exit from Newcastle is winger Hatem Ben Arfa, but former Magpies midfielder Yohan Cabaye says the club would be making a huge mistake in letting him go.
"I have not talked to him (about a departure). This is a situation that he must manage on his side. For me, he remains an extraordinary player with enormous quality," said Cabaye. "It is true that it was harder for him late in the season. He is going to bounce back and find more opportunities with another team. For me, this is one of the players I've played with who has the highest quality. If he decides to return home, that will be good for the French league."
Meanwhile, striker Shola Ameobi has already left the club after it was announced that Newcastle wouldn't be extending his contract. The long-serving Nigerian signed off in the worst possible style with a red card against Liverpool, but is now off to the World Cup this summer - and Nigeria boss Stephen Keshi has praised Ameobi as being an inspiration.
"Shola is the consummate professional and he is a leader on and off the pitch, his experience is invaluable to the team," said Keshi, who will lead his side against Argentina, Bosnia and Iran in Group F. "I’ve got a young team and we need somebody like him to guide and inspire as he’s played at the highest level for so long," he added.
Newcastle do look set to clinch their first signing of the summer - and it's a controversial one. Sunderland midfielder Jack Colback is poised to make the move across the North East and sign for the Black Cats' biggest rivals on a free transfer after his contract at the Stadium of Light expired.