Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez has revealed that club captain Jamaal Lascelles is 'very close' to signing a new long-term deal with the Magpies, in a major boost to the manager's future endeavours.
Benitez has been insistent on rewarding his players for good performances with new deals, with a handful of players set to receive extended contracts for their commitment and reliability to the cause, and Lascelles' new deal is set to be the first of three to be announced.
Despite already being on a long-term deal after signing from Nottingham Forest in 2014, Chronicle Live have reported Newcastle and the player's representatives are close to an agreement on a new bumper deal which is to be representative of his worth to the side.
Benitez said of the deal: “It’s closer than last week. Don’t worry, it’s very close."
With Benitez's priority to maintain dressing room equilibrium, tying Lascelles down to a new deal is a major boost to his plans as the young defender has proved he has the capabilities to be a top defender of the future.
The 23-year-old's recent performances having seemingly caught the eye of England selectors as he has been tipped for a call-up in the future after being the vital cog in the Magpies season thus far, scoring two goals as the club won three league games in a row.
Although the Three Lions have been keeping tabs on Lascelles, the defender is not expected to be selected for the next set of World Cup qualifiers in October, but if his form continues he could be an outside chance to link-up with England in November if they have already secured their place in Russia.