Lascelles quite happy at Newcastle, says Benitez

LONDON • Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles is happy at St James' Park and is ignoring transfer rumours, manager Rafa Benitez has said.

The centre-back has been a mainstay in Newcastle's starting XI under Benitez and his impressive performances have led to British media reports linking him with a £30 million (S$56.1 million) transfer to Premier League rivals Chelsea.

"You can't stop speculation about players... but he is quite happy here, " Benitez said.

Newcastle's current three-game winning streak has helped them climb to 10th in the league, with a second straight top-flight season on the horizon.

Lascelles will have his hands full keeping Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang quiet.

The £56 million club-record signing has scored six goals in seven appearances since his January move.

"He's quick, sharp, intelligent and enjoys being part of the group," said Arsene Wenger of the Gabonese, who will be fresh due to his Europa League ineligibility.

Arsenal also received some good news after Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa suffered a hamstring injury to leave him a doubt for the semi-final first leg on April 26.



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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 15, 2018, with the headline 'Lascelles quite happy at Newcastle, says Benitez'. Print Edition | Subscribe