Newcastle United vow to retain players after Moussa Sissoko expressed desire for exit

Tottenham Hotspur's Mousa Dembele (L) in action with Newcastle United's Moussa Sissoko

The relegated club insist they will only allow players to leave if it is in the Magpies' best interests.

Tottenham Hotspur's Mousa Dembele (L) in action with Newcastle United's Moussa Sissoko

Newcastle United have issued a defiant response to Moussa Sissoko's public revelation that he would like to leave this summer, with the Chronicle quoting the club as saying that they will only allow players to leave if it is in the best interest of the Magpies.

In a revealing interview with French media, Sissoko expressed his desire to get out of St. James' Park this summer following the club's relegation, explicitly suggesting that he would like to move to Arsenal.

That is likely to be a highly unpopular move amongst Magpies supporters, with Sissoko having been criticised on occasion throughout the season for a perceived poor attitude in the face of the club's desperate struggles.

Tottenham's Mousa Dembele (L) and Newcastle United's Moussa Sissoko in action

The Frenchman was reinstated to the side and installed as captain by Rafael Benitez and put in some improved performances in the final weeks of the season, although judging from his latest comments that may have simply been an attempt to put himself in the shop window for a top-flight club.

Newcastle do not appear to have taken those comments from the midfielder well, and they have issued a frank statement as speculation grows over the future of some of their players.

The Chronicle quotes a statement from the club as reading: "We have had enquiries for some of our players, but our position remains the same: We want to retain and build a very strong squad at Newcastle United for the forthcoming season and that is absolutely what we will do.

Aston Villa's Alan Hutton in action with Newcastle's Moussa Sissoko

"We will always act in the best interests of the club and the squad."

Benitez claimed last month after signing a three-year deal to stay on at the club that he had been given assurances by the board that he would not be pushed into selling any player that he would rather keep in his plans.

Players such as Vurnon Anita have already committed their future to the Magpies, but it appears as though one or two stars have their eyes on an exit rather than dropping down to the Championship.

It remains to be seen whether Benitez and the club will sanction the sale of Sissoko if a firm offer comes in from any club over the next few months.

Moussa Sissoko celebrates scoring the second goal for Newcastle United with manager Rafael Benitez

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