According to the Chronicle .... the futures of both Salomon Rondon and Mo Diame are believed to be crucial to securing the long-term future of Rafa Benitez at Newcastle United.
Both players addressed their future over the weekend with Rondon wanting to make his loan deal at Newcastle permanent.
Diame is out of contract in the summer and wants a new two-year deal at the club. If Newcastle tie both men down to deals, Benitez will be more likely to discuss a fresh contract beyond this season.
Salomon Rondon believes Newcastle United's home form is the key to Premier League survival
"It could be even bigger if West Brom get promoted. I am not sure of the exact complexities of the deal but the reality is: will Newcastle pay the money for a player of that age?
"In the past they haven't done that. Going forward if Rondon has 15 goals this season and makes it impossible not to do it then that could be a different scenario again.
"At the minute, if it was down to Lee Charnley and Mike Ashley with the amount of goals he has already, I don't think they would pay the big money for him.
On Diame and the future of Benitez
Chris Waugh: "The Diame situation is quite a complex one. He will automatically trigger a new one-year deal, if he plays, we think, three more matches and then gets another year's contract.
"He wants a two-year contract but a source at the club has said they would be happy to just give him the one-year contract regardless.
"They are not quite as receptive to the two-year deal given his age. Benitez would very much like him to stay.
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"If the club tie down Diame to a deal and tie down Rondon to a deal, that they explored in January to a degree, they are two players alongside the Almiron deal, the club can say to Rafa we have your number one target in January, the player you wanted most last summer in Rondon, Diame, who is a mainstay of your team, he is going to be there.
"There is three players - all your picks - for next season. Can we now sit down and have a proper conversation?
"All of that will be more likely to entice him round the table. Will it be enough for him to stay? No, it won't but every olive branch the club can offer would increase the chances.
"For me, it would be a no-brainer to do both of those things but whether or not they do that is another matter entirely."
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Lee Ryder: "With the Diame thing, it will be interesting to see if he starts against Everton at the weekend.
"If he doesn't and Ki and Hayden play or Ki and Shelvey play, with Longstaff presumably out, that would suggest to me that Rafa will use him in the last nine league games but it has to be starts.
"That would suggest to me that they are paving the way for Diame to leave and looking at other options. If they don't want him it would suit them and it would suit Diame because then he can go and talk to other clubs as a free agent.
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"Do I personally think he is worth the two-year deal? If it keeps Rafa happy and Diame stays fit then yeah, he is an important squad player.
"Would it be the end of the world if he goes? Probably not, there are other players out there who could come in but he has been a decent buy for Newcastle and he is a really good guy to talk to.
"But at the end of the day, Newcastle need to start building forward in the Premier League. Rafa wants to be a top eight team. Whether Diame is part of that, we will have to wait and see."