By 90Min
January 26, 2018

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has declared that fringe forward Aleksandar Mitrovic will not be leaving the club this month unless other players are brought in, and even then he will only be allowed to join another team in the Premier League for a prohibitive fee.

Brighton, who are in the market for a striker after missing out on signing Tottenham flop Vincent Janssen in late August, have been linked with Mitrovic. But the Seagulls will be out of luck.

"I have been clear with him and his agent that he will only leave if we sign players, and not to a Premier League rival," Benitez is quoted as saying by ChronicleLive ahead of Newcastle's FA Cup fourth round tie at Chelsea this weekend.

"I see Brighton are interested, but we are not selling any player to any other Premier League club - unless they want to come with £50m," the Magpies boss added.

Newcastle spent around £13m on Mitrovic in the summer of 2015 and are yet to see any real reward for their investment. He arrived as highly rated young talent after two fine seasons with Anderlecht, but has failed to kick since moving to St James' Park.

The Serbian international scored a semi-respectable nine Premier League goals as Newcastle were relegated from the top flight in 2015/16.

He has never really been part of Benitez's plans, though, and started just 11 times in the Championship last season. He has fallen further down the pecking order back in the Premier League in 2017/18 and yet to start a single league game.

What's more, the 23-year-old has been nursing a back injury in recent weeks and hasn't played at all since a two-minute cameo against Leicester on December 9.

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