Some of Newcastle’s senior players will enter the final year of their contracts in the summer, and a Chronicle report worryingly suggests Newcastle are still viewed as a selling club.
The report claims, as a result of that belief, agents view some of Newcastle’s players as “gettable”, particularly those around 30, who are reaching make-or-break time on whether they will be offered new terms.
While it is always Newcastle’s policy to buy young nowadays, they simply cannot afford to let all their more experienced players leave, particularly as their knowledge can be vital to the youngsters at the club.
Of course, Martin Dubravka has just signed a whopping six-year contract at the age of 30, and while no one would expect a similar deal to be afforded to outfield players of a comparable age, they could – and should – consider more than just a one-year extension for some.
While fans will not be too distraught at the thought of the frustrating Jonjo Shelvey being sold, or Championship marksman and Premier League pretender Dwight Gayle departing, they will not feel the same way about others.
Newcastle should offer a new deal to Matt Ritchie
Matt Ritchie is the prime example, with him being one of the senior players whose contract expired in June 2021.
He still has so much to offer the club, and even if he is not expected to play every week during the latter years of his career, having him in and around the squad, with his motivational skills, could be crucial for the team.
A new deal for two years, with an option of a third would be ideal for Ritchie, and would likely see him finish up his top flight career on Tyneside, and would be a fitting reward for a player who has given, and will continue to give, everything for the black and white shirt.
Newcastle’s continued reputation for being willing to sell any player at the right price is, sadly, the norm under its current stewardship, and it may continue to be the case until a new owner is installed.
But while players like Ritchie will command a decent fee – possibly in excess of £10 million – they are hardly enormous figures in modern day football.
So it would make more sense to keep him on board, than sell him for a fee that would be unlikely to be enough to sign a better quality replacement.