Nailing down key first-team duo Dubravka and Hayden would be great news – especially when both were heavily linked with potential exits over the summer – while a new deal for Matty would be well deserved and much needed, with his current contract due to expire next summer.
Douglas claims that Steve Bruce has been ‘pushing their cases’ as far as new contracts go, but he believes that their age and our ability to avoid a relegation scrap could be key, stating that new deals may not be offered ‘any time soon’ should we be flirting with danger in a few months time.
Ashley’s policy is flawed when it comes to his reluctance to rewards senior players with new deals, but I can see why the club won’t be rushing to hand Jonjo Shelvey a new deal while threat of relegation remains. After all, do we really want to be stuck with an ageing player on £80,000 if we’re back in the second tier next season?
As for Ritchie, it should be a no brainer. He may not be the most talented player in the Newcastle United squad, yet he’s one of the most influential.
Whether we stay up comfortably, survive or go down, a player with his experience, intensity and energy is vital to this team’s dynamic – not matter what league we’re playing in next season.