Report: Rafael Benitez may prevent top Newcastle stars such as Georginio Wijnaldum leaving this summer

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez

The Newcastle United manager is widely reported to be on the verge of agreeing a new contract to stay on at St. James' Park.

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez

Rafael Benitez's stay at Newcastle United is likely to be hailed by supporters for more reasons than one, and Magpies fans may have another cause to cheer as the Chronicle reports that the Spanish boss is likely to take a hard stance with the club's top players over their desire to leave this summer.

Following Newcastle's relegation, speculation has already begun surrounding the future of many of the North East club's senior players as they look ahead to life in the Championship.

Though some stars such as Vurnon Anita have already declared their commitment to the Tynesiders for next season, other such as Andros Townsend are being linked with moves away to Premier League or top-flight European sides.

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez applauds fans after the game

However, according to the Chronicle, Benitez is likely to insist on several want-away stars seeing out their contracts if it is not in the Magpies clear interest to allow them to move on.

The paper quotes the Spanish boss as having said: "The idea is that the majority of the players would stay. It depends.

"Maybe we will receive a massive offer for a player we have to consider but the players know at the moment they have to stay. Then the club will decide little by little on each individual."

Georginio Wijnaldum celebrates scoring the first goal for Newcastle

Benitez's hard line could risk incurring the wrath of some of the bigger egos at St. James' Park, but judging by the improvement in performances and the rhetoric from numerous stars, the ex-Liverpool manager has the vast majority of the squad on his side.

A change of coach would likely have resulted in several high-profile exits, but if terms can indeed be agreed between club and manager, Magpies fans may finally feel as though they have genuine reason for optimism.

Newcastle fans behind manager Rafael Benitez

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