It's that time of the week again. Time to read up on all the gossip surrounding Newcastle, no matter how ridiculous.
There's no football for the Toon, so what else are you going to do? Dig in.
Marseille Want Rafa Benitez, But There's Just One Problem
With Rudi Garcia stepping down as Marseille manager this week, L'Equipe (via Sport Witness) claim Rafa Benitez is Les Phocéens' primary target to take over the reins at the French club. With Benitez and Mike Ashley still locking horns over a new contract for the Spaniard (with improvements to the academy and more control over transfers the main holdups), one would assume that Marseille pose a real threat to steal the Toon's beloved gaffer away.
Yet Marseille's financial situation isn't exactly great, and they won't be able to bring in too many new players, explaining why Marseille newspaper La Provence would prefer to sign an extension with Newcastle. Crisis averted (for now).
Fulham Line Up Dwight Gayle to Replace Aleksandar Mitrovic
Fulham do like having a sniff around Newcastle strikers don't they? After their summer shopping binge - which included the £22m deal for Mitrovic - ended in spectacular fashion with relegation from the Premier League, the Cottagers are apparently planning to sell the Serbian striker and replace him with Championship Lionel Messi (aka, Dwight Gayle).
Don't laugh at that - the man has scored 46 goals in two Championship seasons! What you can laugh at, however, is Newcastle's asking price of £20m for Gayle, according to the Evening Standard. Of course, much of this depends on whether Mitrovic leaves Fulham, which he seems to want in order to continue playing in the Premier League. If that happens, the dominoes may fall, and Newcastle could bank a tidy profit on Gayle.
Joe Bryan on Rafa Benitez's Radar
Staying with Fulham, Football Insider reckon Rafa Benitez is eyeing up Joe Bryan, with left-back a constant problem for the Toon (evidenced by Antonio Barreca's loan spell last season - if that's what you want to call it).
Bryan can play left-back or left wing-back, which is the kind of versatility Benitez is looking for. Still, he was part of Fulham's defence last season, which let in 47 goals last season...
Sean Longstaff to Receive New Contract Amid Man Utd Interest
After the news that Manchester United were preparing to submit a bid for Sean Longstaff this week, Newcastle are thought to be moving quickly in order to secure their starlet for the foreseeable future.
Even though Newcastle are adamant he's not for sale, Longstaff himself has said he wants to stay on Tyneside, AND he just signed a four-year contract just six months ago, the Daily Star seem to believe that the club are going to give him a brand new and improved deal 'to underline their commitment to hang on to him.'
Even more importantly, the Star claim that this will be Newcastle's position regardless of whether Rafa Benitez is in charge next season or not.