Newcastle are facing a squad rebuild this summer – this is who will leave

Bruno Guimaraes - Newcastle are facing a squad rebuild this summer – this is who will leave

Newcastle United have done well to rally this season after a difficult and draining winter, plagued by injuries, left them sitting 10th in the Premier League and in danger of missing out on European football next season.

Manager Eddie Howe deserves huge credit for keeping the season alive and Newcastle, who entertain Tottenham Hotspur this weekend, have responded to their FA Cup quarter-final defeat by Manchester City by taking seven points from a possible nine, to move to within just two points of Manchester United in sixth.

The fact injuries continue to decimate the squad – there were 12 players missing in the 1-0 win over Fulham last weekend – makes their form even more impressive.

Nevertheless, there is still a sense that Howe’s “first side” as Newcastle manager is coming to the end of its shelf life and a major squad overhaul is coming in the summer.

No final decisions have been made on any player and Howe has made it clear that everyone is playing for their futures between now and the end of the season.

Telegraph Sport looks at the players at risk of being moved on and what are the chances of remaining on Tyneside.

Miguel Almiron

The Paraguay international was once the club’s record signing, when he arrived from Atlanta United for £21 million in January 2019. It was a signing that was supposed to help persuade former manager Rafa Benitez to extend his contract. Even though it failed to do so, Almiron has been a popular, hardworking and important player.

Without him, Newcastle may well have been relegated under Benitez, Steve Bruce, as well as in Howe’s first season.

The winger was brilliant last term as Newcastle qualified for the Champions League and will be assured of a place in the club’s history after scoring the first goal in the 4-1 thrashing of PSG in that competition.

“Miggy” as he is known by team-mates and fans alike is now 30-years-old and was almost sold to a Saudi Arabian club back in January. His inconsistency occasionally infuriates fans and he does not – with the exception of last season – score enough goals for an attacking player.

Crucially, there may well be a market for him this summer and that could be pivotal. Given he has been at the club for four years, he is almost “off the books” in terms of amortisation of a player’s value over the length of their contract.

Newcastle need to sell players to remain on the right side of profit and sustainability (PSR) rules and would prefer to keep the likes of Bruno, Joelinton and Alexander Isak. Almiron is vulnerable as a result.

But there is also an argument to make that he would be an excellent squad player next season and Howe likes his personality and energy. Could still have a future despite what happened in January.
Verdict: Uncertain

Miguel Almiron
Miguel Almiron is a popular player but may have to leave Newcastle this summer - Getty Images/George Wood

Sean Longstaff

He has been unfairly made a scapegoat at times this season and as a local lad, carries a heavy burden on his shoulders. Has been playing with an injury for the past couple of months and has not been the same player he was last season.

With Elliot Anderson and Lewis Miley emerging from the academy in the past couple of years and making a greater impression on the first-team picture, there is a sense Longstaff could be another player Newcastle are willing to listen to offers for this summer. As a homegrown player, whatever transfer fee Newcastle receive will be “pure profit” in terms of PSR balance sheets and that inevitably comes into the equation too.

At the age of 26, Longstaff is a good Premier League midfielder and would make a fine addition to many top-flight squads, particularly those in the bottom half of the table. When he is injury free, he has the energy to cover every blade of grass and a fresh start may also be good for him mentally. Again, there could be a market for him this summer and Leeds United have already been linked with making a bid when the window opens.

Howe would like to keep him but difficult decisions will need to be made because of PSR concerns and they will have Italy international Sandro Tonali available again next season after his costly 10-month ban.
Verdict: Uncertain

Sean Longstaff
Sean Longstaff would be an attractive buy for newly promoted club to the Premier League - AFP/Andy Buchanan

Callum Wilson

There are not many better or more productive centre forwards in the Premier League than Wilson. He is an England international for a reason and has been a wonderful signing for Newcastle, who was lured to St James’ Park by Bruce in the summer of 2020 for just £20 million.

The problem is, he is injury prone and misses far too many games to justify being one of the club’s top earners.

Wilson, who has been absent for months rather than just weeks this season, was linked with a move to Italy and Spain in January but there were no bids made. The phrase no smoke without fire springs to mind though.

At the age of 32, much will depend on Wilson’s attitude. There were rumblings in January that he was keen to leave. He is no longer first-choice centre forward when Isak is fit and, crucially, there will be interest in him from home and abroad. A move to Saudi Arabia, for example, would be a lucrative one for him at this stage of his career.

However, if Wilson assures Howe he is committed and wants to stay, even if he is mainly used in a backup role, there is a lot of sense in keeping him. He scores goals when he plays and the cost of replacing that is extremely high.

But the player will likely determine what happens next and he is one of the few fringe players who will command a decent fee if he does indicate he wants a new challenge.
Verdict: Sold

Callum Wilson
This could well be Callum Wilson's final season in the famous black and white - Getty Images/Chloe Knott

Bruno Guimarães

Nobody wants the Brazil international to leave this summer. He is Newcastle’s most important player and, as he showed against England at Wembley last month, is a world-class talent.

The problem is, Bruno insisted on a release clause in the new contract he signed last year and although it is believed to only apply to foreign clubs and the fee – around £100 million – is a huge amount, Newcastle know they are powerless to stop him leaving if it is activated. There may also be interest from domestic rivals too as teams know they would be getting a proven Premier League star who will not need time to adapt. Newcastle will be extremely reluctant to sell to anyone in this country though, but money always talks in football and a bid could be too large to turn down. Selling a player for £100 million and making around £70 million in profit is bound to be tempting in a PSR world.

The hope behind the scenes, however, is that Newcastle can get at least one more season out of the 26-year-old, especially if they qualify for Europe again.

Bruno has always maintained that he is very happy at the club and his family is settled in the area. He is an emotional character and feeds off the adulation of the supporters.

He has left his options open, though, and speculation about his future is likely to be one of the transfer sagas of the summer. The South American is highly unlikely to want to spend the rest of his career with Newcastle, but maybe the club can enjoy him for a little bit longer.
Future: Uncertain

Bruno Guimaraes
Newcastle may well be hearing a lot of offers for Bruno Guimaraes this summer - Shutterstock/David Cliff

Martin Dubravka

When Nick Pope returns from injury, Dubravka will go back to being the No.2 goalkeeper and may well be keen to secure a move to play regular first-team football. The Slovakia international has done reasonably well in the four months Pope has been out injured with a dislocated shoulder, but at the age of 35 he is not going to be first choice again at St James’ Park.

If he wants to play he needs to leave. With third choice Loris Karius also leaving at the end of the season, Newcastle will look to sign a new keeper this summer too.
Verdict: Sold

Martin Dubravka
Martin Dubravka needs to leave Newcastle if he is going to get regular first-team action - Getty Images/Alex Livesey

Jacob Murphy

Signed by Benitez in 2018, Murphy is a boyhood fan and has always given his all to the cause. He has improved a lot under Howe and has shown promise as a right wing-back in recent games.

But that could make him an attractive target for an aspirational Championship club with parachute payments to spend in the summer. Or, perhaps, one of the newly promoted teams to the Premier League. He’d be a good signing for a club at that sort of level and he is another who is effectively “off the books” in terms of PSR sales profit.
Verdict: Uncertain

Others likely to leave at the end of their contracts: Jeff Hendrick, Matt Ritchie and Paul Dummett.