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Newcastle slap £35m price tag on Sissoko

By Damien Spellman

Potential suitors for Newcastle's Euro 2016 star Moussa Sissoko have been told they will have to come up with a staggering £35m if they are to lure him away from St James' Park.

The 26-year-old, who joined the Toon from Toulouse for an undisclosed fee in January 2013, has been linked with a move away from Tyneside since the club's relegation from the Premier League last season.

But the Magpies have placed the huge price tag on one of their most prized assets, who turned in a fine individual display in France's 1-0 final defeat to Portugal in Paris on Sunday, in a bid to scare away interest.

Sissoko has made no secret of his desire to play Champions League football, much to the annoyance of Newcastle fans who have rarely seen him produce the kind of high-octane performance he did for his country.

Sissoko has already been linked with a series of clubs including Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool, and there is little doubt that he would command a sizeable fee should manager Rafael Benitez decide to cash in as he rebuilds his squad for life in the Sky Bet Championship.

However, while Andros Townsend has already left after Crystal Palace activated the £13m escape clause in his contract, Benitez is keen to retain the services of the likes of Sissoko and Georginio Wijnaldum.

Newcastle have no immediate need to sell their biggest names and even if they are ultimately persuaded to do so, owner Mike Ashley and managing director Lee Charnley will not do business on the cheap.

Benitez continued his rebuild yesterday when he landed 21-year-old Arsenal defender Isaac Hayden on a five-year deal, taking his tally to five summer additions following the captures of Matz Sels, Matt Ritchie, Dwight Gayle and Jesus Gamez.

Belfast Telegraph


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