Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez reacts to Moussa Sissoko exit talk

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez during the press conference

The Spaniard has admitted there have been enquiries for his players.

Newcastle manager Rafael BenitezNewcastle manager Rafael Benitez

Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez has addressed the issue of outgoings at St James Park this summer, in an interview with the Chronicle.

The Magpies descent into the Championship has prompted speculation that a number of their key men could seek exits in the coming months.

Newcastle United's Andros Townsend looks dejectedNewcastle United's Andros Townsend looks dejected

Andros Townsend is believed to have a buyout clause in his contract, with Crystal Palace interested according to the Mirror, and Moussa Sissoko has been vocal about his desire to leave in a recent interview with Foot Mercato.

“It is simple in football: good players want to play with good players, in strong teams. So it is important that our priority is to have a strong team,” said the former Real Madrid manager.

“Our focus is on bringing high-quality players to the club to improve the group we already have. We said a few days ago that we have had enquiries for some of our players, but our position is very clear on this.

“We absolutely will keep and build a strong squad that we believe can get us promotion back to the Premier League,” he added.

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

“If a player leaves, or he stays, or a new player arrives, whatever business we do in the transfer window will always be in the best interests of the club and the squad, that is certain.”

Benitez’s decision to remain at the helm is a great boost to the Magpies’ prospects next season but the reality of dropping down to England’s second tier means high-profile departures are likely.

Newcastle manager Rafael BenitezNewcastle manager Rafael Benitez

How Newcastle managed the next few months will be key in determining whether they are able to bounce straight back up to the Premier League.

Recent reports have linked former midfielder Mehdi Abeid with a return to Tyneside and that is the kind of sensible acquisitions that should be pursued this summer.

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