Tossing his sweat soaked shirt into the depths of the Gallowgate and bidding the Geordie crowd adieu with a blown kiss and a wave it was the clearest sign yet that Mathieu Debuchy was saying his last goodbyes to Newcastle United. It's not uncommon for players to bequeath their strip into the crowd at the climax of the final home match of the season but watching a shirtless Debuchy walk away was emblematic of what is to come and said more than words ever could. One of the few players to emerge with discernible credit from this most chaotic of seasons it will be agonising to lose a player of his full blooded passion and commitment after only 18 months together. It's a separation we've prepared for but pray for it not to come to pass. Thus it will be up to the Magpies' recruitment posse to source an adequate replacement for the popular French international and we believe there are five players that could come into contention during an anticipated summer of upheaval at St James' Park.
6. Serge Aurier
It was reported back in April that the talented Toulouse right-back had been added to Newcastle's shopping list after an impressive campaign for the Ligue 1 side. The 21-year-old has been scouted by the club on several occasions this season, although he is also being pursued by Arsenal as a replacement for Bacary Sagna should the France international leave on a free transfer. Aston Villa and Chelsea are also rumoured to monitoring Aurier so it's doubtful that Newcastle would be an attractive move for the Ivory Coast international should both North London clubs make an approach, despite the volume of French-speaking players present on Tyneside along with international team-mate Cheick Tiote, after telling Foot Mercato that he would find it impossible to refuse a move to the Emirates Stadium, saying "It is certain that Arsenal is a dream." A pity as Aurier would be an excellent upgrade on Debuchy as he is capable of fitting in across the back four and possesses greater physical attributes than his 28-year-old French counterpart. Tending not to abandon his defensive post on a whim he is a defender that enjoys defending, the Lens academy graduate also has a keen instinct to attack when the right opportunity presents itself and is a handful higher up the pitch due to his rapid pace.