Jamaal Lascelles has gone on record saying that he will remain at Newcastle United for the upcoming season.
Rumours of a potential move to West Ham have surfaced during the transfer window, with the London club reportedly offering £25m for the defender.
Newcastle's tenth-place finish last season was in part credited to the 24-year-old's performance, largely due to his leadership at the back end.
Lascelle spoke to the Mirror at Newcastle's training camp in Dublin, saying that he has no plans to leave the Magpies in the near future.
He said: "I'm happy here, I'm a Newcastle player, I'm still tied down to a long contract. I'm playing every week, the fans love me, for me to lose that would be quite upsetting. Obviously I am captain.
“I’ve always had a bit of speculation, since I was 16 there have been teams interested. My dad has always said to me, ‘concentrate on your football and that will take care of itself’. At the minute I am just working hard.
“It’s about having a good pre-season and starting the season well. I have played a lot of games. I am 24 and it’s important for me to carry on playing games because that’s how you develop.”
Rafa Benitez's team say they will not accept any offers under £35m for Lascelles, so it seems the young defender will remain at St James' Park during the upcoming season.
Rafa Benitez on #NUFC captain Jamaal Lascelles: “I think he’s a player who has a lot of potential. He has the mentality that fans enjoy and they like. We need somebody who will stay here for many years and he can be that great leader and great captain in a great team.” pic.twitter.com/w2i4GNFqiB— Newcastle Fans TV (@NewcastleFansTV) July 13, 2018
The centre back has made 103 appearances and scored eight goals for Newcastle United since completing the transfer from Nottingham Forest in the summer of 2015.
Lascelles was unable to make it into Gareth Southgate's squad for the World Cup, but is hoping that another good season might help win him a place in England's upcoming Euro 2020 campaign. Time will tell if he can compete with Harry Maguire, John Stones and Phil Jones for a spot in the Three Lions' back line.