Newcastle endured an underwhelming summer of business, after which Rafa Benitez was left generally frustrated at a lack of funds being made for squad investment.
Those problems have apparently continued into the new season, with owner Mike Ashley now having to confront an issue with captain Jamaal Lascelles.
That is according to the Daily Mail, who report that Ashley has been in conversations with the defender recently over his future at the club and an apparent disagreement between Lascelles and Rafa Benitez on the training ground.
The events have seen the Newcastle captain left out of each of Newcastle’s last two matchday squads, which has prompted Ashley’s intervention in the situation.
It is said that Ashley wants to discuss any issues within the squad with Lascelles, following a recent player protest against the slow agreement of bonus payments, and the Newcastle chief is apparently keen to avoid a similar situation unfolding again.
Ashley has been the subject of consistent pressure from some Newcastle fans in recent years to sell the club, with a great deal of unrest regarding the club’s owner’s failure to provide substantial investment for the Magpies, an issue which persisted during the summer.
Newcastle have struggled to put the off-field issues behind them on the pitch so far this season, having failed to win a match so far in the new Premier League campaign.
Defeats to Tottenham, Chelsea and a goalless draw with Cardiff were followed by their midweek elimination from the Carabao Cup to Nottingham Forest, further compounding their difficult start to the season both on and off the pitch.