Date: 17th August 2018 at 5:00pm
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Rafa Benitez is unlikely to sanction a loan move for Ciaran Clark during this transfer window, according to the Chronicle journalist Chris Waugh.

Reports have suggested that Aston Villa my make an offer for their former player before August 31st, but speaking on the newspaper’s live blog, the reporter thinks a move won’t happen:

“Ciaran Clark is a former Aston Villa player, and so there is still a connection between the Republic of Ireland international and the Second City cub. But Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez is unlikely to countenance an exit for Clark – especially given the fact the defender started the opening game of the season.”

Not only did Clark start against Spurs last Saturday, but Florian Lejeune’s lengthy injury absence means Rafa has fewer options in the middle of defence.

The manager is said to be keen to have four senior centre-backs, and that means the 28-year-old will have an important part to play alongside captain Jamaal Lascelles, Fabian Schar and Federico Fernandez.

If Lejeune returns earlier than expected from a knee injury than a departure could perhaps happen in January, but the Frenchman is expected to miss most of the season.

With Clark in pole position to start tomorrow’s match against Cardiff, I can’t see the 6ft 2 defender leaving St James’ Park any time soon.


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