Jack Colback is likely to find himself back on Tyneside when Newcastle United’s pre-season training starts on July 4 – a mere 27 days away.
But he is unlikely to be part of the first team’s training sessions if that happens, and will probably be being put through the mill by the incoming second-string boss, Neil Redfearn, rather than Rafa Benitez.
He will not be alone, however, with Henri Saivet, Rolando Aarons and Achraf Lazaar all likely to join him.
All four will hope to secure deals away from the club in the coming weeks – whether permanent or temporary – with Newcastle hoping to shed the quartet’s wages from the bill.
Colback had a good year at Nottingham Forest, and according to Nottighamshire Live, in an ideal world, Martin O’Neill would take him back to the City Ground for the upcoming season.
But Colback’s salary is a likely stumbling block, and unless he is willing to take, what would surely be, a significant pay-cut, he could see himself priced out of a deal.
Benitez – or whoever is in charge – is unlikely to prevent him going, with him not figuring in the first team picture at St James’ Park.
Speaking to the Chronicle, the former Sunderland midfielder is honest enough to know that, if Benitez stays, his days at the club are numbered, and that he will not be back in the Premier League squad any time soon.
He said: “It is not as though I am looking at it and thinking that I will go back to Newcastle and try to get back in the team. I am realistic enough to know that, if the current manager is still there, I am not going to be playing.
“I am not sat here thinking that things might change if he goes – the way I am looking at it is to think that I haven’t played for the club for two years and it is unlikely that I will do again.”
Colback needs to move on to save his career
Even though Newcastle is Colback’s home-town club, he needs to move on and go somewhere where he can feel wanted and appreciated; that place is not St James’ Park.
There are three likely scenarios: another loan deal that will see him through to the end of his contract before moving on as a free agent; he takes a lower wage in order to be back playing football at another club; he and Newcastle agree to tear up his contract, effective immediately, and everyone cuts their losses and moves on.
With only a very minimal fee likely to be received for him, it would surely be in all parties’ best interests to simply terminate his current deal, and let him find another club now, as opposed to next summer.
Newcastle would probably be agreeable to that, but it is up to the player if he would rather hang around, unwanted, to pick up another year’s salary, or try to kick-start his fast-dwindling career at another club.