Tuesday 23 October 2018

Steve McClaren optimistic of hanging onto Newcastle's big boys

Newcastle head coach Steve McClaren is hoping to hang on to all of his big names
Newcastle head coach Steve McClaren is hoping to hang on to all of his big names

Newcastle head coach Steve McClaren is hoping to hang on to all his best players as the transfer window draws to a close.

Speculation has been rife all summer that one of the Magpies' bigger names - the likes of Tim Krul, Cheick Tiote, Moussa Sissoko or Papiss Cisse - could leave St James' Park if a sizeable offer was received with Andy Carroll, Yohan Cabaye and Mathieu Debuchy having done just that in the recent past.

However, Newcastle, who have spent in excess of £50million this summer, seem intent on hanging on to all the men they want with only fringe players up for grabs after owner Mike Ashley's vow to build a side capable of winning a trophy.

Asked if he expected any departures ahead of Tuesday's deadline, McClaren said: "I hope not - we have no intention of.

"There's a great determination from the club, to reiterate from two weeks ago, that we don't need to sell, we don't have to sell, we don't want to sell. We don't want to loose any of our best players.

"We want to bring players in - we have done that with [Florian] Thauvin. At this present moment, we are happy."

McClaren admitted last week that he was not expecting further additions to a squad which has been boosted by the arrivals of Chancel Mbemba, Georginio Wijnaldum, Thauvin, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Ivan Toney, and recent signs have been promising.

Newcastle emerged from last Saturday's trip to Manchester United with a hard-earned point, and Thauvin scored and provided three assists on his full debut in a 4-1 Capital One Cup second round victory over Northampton to raise spirits ahead of Saturday's home tester against Arsenal.

They will be further strengthened from the game at Old Trafford by full-back Daryl Janmaat's return from suspension, and Sissoko's potential availability after his quicker-than-expected recovery from a groin problem.

McClaren said: "We thought he [Sissoko] would have no chance, to be honest. He has healed well. Is he ready? We'll decide that tomorrow.

"He has trained a couple of days with the team. We will just have to weigh up the fitness side of it - 95 minutes, going away on international duty? We'll decide that tomorrow."

Press Association

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