Benitez responds when asked if Newcastle plan on selling Jonjo Shelvey

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez gestures from the sideline during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Brighton and Hove Albion at St. James Park on December 30, 2017 in...

The Newcastle United man has been linked with an exit from the club in January.

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez gestures from the sideline during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Brighton and Hove Albion at St. James Park on December 30, 2017 in...

Magpies boss Rafa Benitez spoke to reporters in the aftermath of his side's 0-0 draw with Brighton and Hove Albion yesterday, and responded to rumours linking Jonjo Shelvey with a January exit from the club, as quoted by the Shields Gazette.

According to the Sun, West Ham have lined up the 25-year-old as their number one transfer target next month, as David Moyes looks to bolster his midfield ranks.

The England international moved to St James' Park from Swansea City in January 2016, for a fee believed to be worth in the region of £12 million, but has enjoyed mixed fortunes during his time on Tyneside.

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Newcastle player Jonjo Shelvey reacts before the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur at St. James Park on August 13, 2017 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

Shelvey has never quite reached the heights that his potential suggests he should have, and perhaps a move away from the Toon is something that he needs in order to breath fire back into his stuttering career.

Benitez addressed the media following his side's draw with the Seagulls yesterday, and did not rule out the possibility of selling Shelvey, as quoted by the Shields Gazette:

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez looks on during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Burnley at Old Trafford on December 26, 2017 in Manchester, England.

"If we don’t bring in players, it will be very difficult to lose players. Even if they are not happy, they still have to keep working and try to give their best for this team."

So, if Newcastle do in fact manage to bring in some new signings, the 25-year-old's days on Tyneside could be numbered.

Whether the Magpies would consider selling him to relegation rivals West Ham, though, is debatable to say the least.

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