Date: 14th April 2018 at 5:02am
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Newcastle United will face a stern test to keep their squad intact this summer, with a host of players amongst their squad attracting plenty of interest in the market.

The likes of Mikel Merino, Jonjo Shelvey and loanee Kenedy have attracted plenty of interested since the turn of the year, whilst more recent reports have linked Chelsea and West Ham with interest in skipper Jamaal Lascelles.

However, speaking ahead of this weekend’s hosting of Arsenal, Rafael Benitez played down the chances of the Magpies captain leaving St. James’ Park.

“He’s happy, training well, he’s improving, he’s focused. You can’t stop speculation about players, but I was talking with him for a while last week and the focus is just trying to improve his game.”

“I think at the moment he knows he has to continue progressing and learning, but he is quite happy here.”

Still just 24, Lascelles has become a lynchpin in Rafael Benitez’s defensive line during the Spaniard’s reign at Tyneside and Newcastle are desperate to retain his services.