One challenge for Newcastle this summer is to be able to sell a number of players who are no longer required at the club and who can bring in some transfer funds for Rafa to spend.
The departures will also get some of the higher wage earners off the payroll.
And news today that Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse is a target for top Qatar club Lekhwiya.
Papiss Cisse – likely to leave the club this summer
The 30-year-old has been at Newcastle since January of 2012 and is now likely to be sold this summer after scoring only three goals this season, but he was injured for a number of months – not unlike a number of other Newcastle players.
Cisse signed for around £10M from German side SC Freiburg.
The news is that Lekhwiya are ready to bid £5M for the 35 times capped Senegal International (16 goals) – and we would think Newcastle would accept that offer.
Papiss has a very decent goalscoring record at Newcastle having played 111 games for us with 44 goals.
Another Newcastle player likely to move to a club in Qatar or China this summer is 29 year-old Cheick Tiote.
Cheick almost moved in January to Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua for a fee that was reported at either £5M or £8M, depending on which report you read.
Cheick played very well for Rafa Benitez in the last few games of the season, so it will be interesting to see if Rafa wants to keep him at the club, although his high wages may mean he needs to be sold.