Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew has admitted to his concerns over potentially losing his star players during the summer transfer window.
Newcastle finished the season 16th in the Premier League table after struggling to recapture the form of Pardew’s first full season on Tyneside.
Having previously seen the likes of Andy Carroll and Demba Ba depart the club, there is concern that players like Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa could leave in the summer, with captain Fabricio Coloccini’s future still far from certain.
And not for the first time Pardew has confirmed his fears that the club may be forced into selling its biggest assets.
"We’re one of those clubs where we’re liable to lose one of our great players to a Champions League team through finance - and sometimes the will of the player,” he told the Evening Chronicle.
"You can’t keep a player who doesn’t want to stay. Having said that, it’s going to be very difficult for any club to get a player out of here unless it’s a serious or big bid.”
With the manager set for talks with owner Mike Ashley this week, the club’s summer transfer strategy is believed to be high on the agenda. Desperate to secure a quality striker to challenge Papiss Cisse, Saint-Etienne's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is understood to be the club’s first choice, although they have refused to rule out a bid for Andy Carroll.
The England international has spent the season on loan at West Ham United, where he netted seven Premier League goals in 22 starts. Coy on his future when asked, Carroll is understood to interest Newcastle, who will face competition from West Ham during any attempts to sign the player who left St James’ Park in January 2011 to join Liverpool.