Newcastle United will demand at least £20m for Aleksandar Mitrovic this summer as the club chiefs finally admit his time with the club is up, according to reports.
Following the Toon's promotion from the Championship last season, the 23-year-old fell out of favour under Rafa Benitez; being shipped off to Fulham on loan during the January transfer window after permanent deals elsewhere failed to materialise.
However, according to the Northern Echo, the St James' Park hierarchy are set to do all they can get the Serbia international off the books at the end of this term but will demand £20m to do so, and potentially, even more, should the frontman enjoy a promising World Cup.
Since dropping back down to the second tier of English football during the winter, Mitrovic has found sensational form; netting 11 goals in 13 starts for the west Londoners and playing a critical role in Slavisa Jokanovic's side's promotion push.
Should the Cottagers achieve their goal and find themselves back in the top-flight next season, due to the terms of their loan deal, they have the opportunity to table the first bid for the Serb's services.
However, there is nothing within the agreement that states Newcastle must accept the offer; with no fee reached prior to the striker heading to Fulham on a temporary basis.
Controversial opinion: If Fulham signed mitrovic at the start of the season they’d be top.— keegs (@LewisKeegan7) April 20, 2018
Club owner Mike Ashley had previously been reluctant to offload Mitrovic, who cost the Magpies £13m in 2015 but has now accepted that selling him is the best course of action, with Benitez very much at the forefront of the idea, and is keen to make as much profit as possible.
The attacker will have the opportunity to add to his account and possibly increase his worth further, while also heaping further misery on Newcastle's rivals, Sunderland when the already relegated Black Cats visit Craven Cottage on Friday evening in the Championship.
However, the in-form talisman, who will come up against Brazil, Switzerland and Costa Rica in Russia this summer, is not the only one set for a St James' Park exit at the end of this season, with Massadio Haidara, Jesus Gamez and Curtis Good all set to be released as free agents, while Matz Sels, Henri Saivet, Achraf Lazaar and Jack Colback will be put on the transfer list.