Rafa Benitez has all but confirmed that Mo Diame will leave the club this summer once his contract expires.
The 31-year-old midfielder must start BOTH of our last two games if he’s to trigger a one-year extension, however the Spaniard has suggested he is unlikely to play, hinting that his time at St James’ Park has come to an end.
Speaking at his press conference yesterday, here’s what Benitez had to say about the former Senegalese international’s future:
“Yeah, he is fine. I was talking with him a few weeks ago about something to do with his state of mind and what he was thinking.
“I knew exactly what he was thinking, and if he can play; [so] if he has to play, he will play. At the same time, he is a player who has Hayden playing well, or Ki playing well, or Jonjo ready, so I don’t need to take a risk with a player who maybe will have another future. I don’t know.
“It is something you have to discuss with the player and that is it. He is fine, he can play – [but], will he start? I don’t think so.”
As reported by the Chronicle, it seems Diame has had a two-year request rejected by the club, with him preferring to depart this summer in search of first-team football than remaining at the club for another season.
It’s a shame in some respects. He’s an experienced Premier League player who still has something to give – especially when you look at the lack of defensive midfielders at the club – but this move may end up making sense for all parties should we find a suitable replacement.
He’s had an up and down time on Tyneside, but he deserves a warm send off tonight, with it looking set to be his last appearance at St James’ Park.