Newcastle defender Jamaal Lascelles has revealed that he is not interested in leaving the club this summer.
The highly-rated defender has been linked with a move away and the likes of West Ham are interested in signing him. The Hammers submitted a £25 million bid for him last week but that was turned down by the Magpies.
Lascelles’ comments will come as a major boost to the Newcastle fans and Rafa Benitez. The 24-year-old is the best defender at the club and losing him would have been catastrophic.
It is clear that Lascelles enjoys playing for Newcastle and he is relishing the responsibilities as a captain.
Newcastle will need him in full flow if they are to finish in the top half again. The Magpies have not done enough in terms of transfers so far and they will have to rely on their best players to deliver once again.
Speaking to The Times, Lascelles said: “I’m playing every week, the fans love me and for me to lose that would be quite upsetting. I am happy here and obviously, I am the captain. I don’t really take much notice of the speculation. Since I was 16, there has always been speculation and interest from other clubs. My dad has always said to me — and still says now — ‘don’t take any notice of it, just concentrate on doing your job, work hard, be the best player you can be and the football will take care of itself’. I’m happy here, I’m a Newcastle player, I’m still tied down to a long contract. It’s about having a good pre-season and starting the season well. I have played a lot of games here. I’m 24 and it’s important for me to carry on playing games because that’s how you develop.”