Jamaal Lascelles addresses his Newcastle United future amid transfer speculation

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Jamaal Lascelles was asked about his future at Newcastle United plus the relentless transfer speculation.

Newcastle United have new ambitions - and captain Jamaal Lascelles is one of the many players hoping to remain a part of it.

Everyone knows the story by now. The Magpies, now under the ownership of PCP Partners, the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia and RB Sports & Media, want to be the world’s best.

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But that will take a lot of time, as outlined this season, with United needing to win their Premier League relegation battle first before even contemplating competing for trophies or challenging the Europe places.

Since Lascelles’ move from Nottingham Forest in 2014, Newcastle is largely a club that has lacked hope, one whose only aim was to stay in the top-flight. Not now, however.

And United’s relegation to the Championship in 2016 was arguably the making of Lascelles. Or Southampton away, to narrow it down. Still a fresh face in the dressing, the defender was handed the captaincy by Rafa Benitez.

Lascelles has experienced some difficult times, leading his teammates through tough moments. Now a brighter future is on the horizon, the 28-year-old is desperate to stay put at St James’ Park.

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“I’d love to stay here for as long as possible. Who wouldn’t” Lascelles asked. “I’m captain of the club and where things are going at the minute is a fantastic thing to be part of.

Newcastle, under Eddie Howe, have turned a corner in recent months. A run of nine games unbeaten between January and March took the club from 19th to 14th, nine points above the drop zone.

It suggests that Lascelles’ teammates are feeling the same as their captain, with the upturn in results offering a small glimpse into what a successful Newcastle United can look like. Certainly, the St James’ Park atmosphere has been electric.

Lascelles continued: “I just think we’re all working hard. That’s the other thing, because everyone is desperate to stay and be a part of it, the level improves.

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“Not just in the way we train, but the way people are sensible in what they do in and around the city. No drinking. We’re looking after ourselves, nutrition, sleeping, doing everything we can to give ourselves the best opportunity to be a part of it.”

The Magpies spent around £90million during the January transfer window on Kieran Trippier, Chris Wood, Bruno Guimaraes, Matt Targett and Dan Burn.

Lascelles, arguably through no fault of his own, has struggled to regain his place from Burn or Fabian Schar after he initially dropped out of the starting XI through illness in mid-February.

Competition for places is only likely to increase when the summer transfer window comes around.

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“When you see all the superstars being linked to Newcastle, the thing is, we don’t know how true that all is,” Lascelles said. “We also know that you cannot completely change a football team overnight, it’s going to be gradual.

“Even if that is what this club eventually turns into, it’s what is happening now that matters to us and all I know is the players who are here, we want to be involved with this football club for as long as we possibly can. It’s a great thing at the minute.

“It will be fascinating to see how that all develops in the next year and beyond that.”

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