Believe it or not, the following 11 (yes ELEVEN!) senior players are in the last year of their contracts and technically will be free agents come June 30th, 2021.
- Fabian Schar
- Dwight Gayle
- DeAndre Yedlin
- Ciaran Clark
- Federico Fernandez
- Jacob Murphy
- Christian Atsu
- Andy Carroll
- Henri Saivet
- Achraf Lazaar
- Rolando Aarons
How many will go? How many will stay and how many are seem touch and go heading into the final six months of their current deals?
On behalf of NUFC Blog, I give you my educated guesses on each below:
1. Fabian Schar – Uncertain
A player that before last summer and first lockdown looked like our best CB and as good a footballer as we had in the squad. A nailed-on certainty to stay. Then along came post lockdown and he looked uninterested last summer and a certainty to move.
Now he’s has come back into the side and played well in our last three league games. Could it be that he’s playing to earn himself a new deal and get a second chance under Bruce?
I wouldn’t be surprised if we sold him while we can this month (IF a replacement arrived) or gave him a new deal so we could get a fee this summer.
2. Dwight Gayle – Uncertain
Bruce always talks highly of him, yet he’s had so many injury issues and is yet to start since he got that winner vs West Brom.
Must be a bit fed up and The Mail reckon Fulham are interested along with two Qatari sides and one from Saudi. One-year extension at most but just as likely to move on now he’s in his 30’s, on decent money, inured a lot and struggling for game time.
3. Deandre Yedlin – Sold / Released
An ‘unnamed’ MLS club are believed to have made him an offer and two Turkish clubs also supposedly in the mix if you believe CBS Sports.
He’s played well recently so that could put him in the ‘uncertain’ bracket, but we have too many average right-backs as it is and he’s perhaps playing for a move now? I’m quite certain this will be his last season at St James’ Park.
4. Ciaran Clark – Stay & sign new deal
Has to stay for me. Mr. Reliable and Bruce is a big fan of him. He’s been linked to Palace (The Telegraph) but that could be a smokescreen as he’s supposedly in talks over a new deal.
He’s now a regular starter and to get a player of equal ability would cost a fair bit so I see him signing soon.
5. Federico Fernandez – Stay & sign extension
Apparently, we have an option to extend his deal by a further year and I’m sure we will. He’s even been Captain in recent games and is another who rarely puts a foot wrong.
The Argentine seems settled and is ageing like a fine wine. Possibly our best and most consistent CB?
6. Jacob Murphy – Stay & sign new deal
I’m still not convinced about him but there’s no doubting he’s improved and if he can kick on again who knows.
Bruce seems to have been delighted with him and he’s now become a decent squad player who can play out right wing and at wing-back. Worth retaining, especially when former back-up options Atsu and Aarons look set to finally depart.
7. Christian Atsu – Sold / released
Not in our 25-man squad and has to be looking for a move this month which would suit both parties.
We might get a little fee as he’d be a handy squad player or even starter for someone in the Championship. Just as likely though to sit it out and leave for nothing this summer.
8. Andy Carroll – Released
In all honesty he was very lucky to get a new deal last year!
Nice to see him finally score last weekend but his legs are gone and he’s not up to it at this level anymore. Will surely be released so we can create room for a more able replacement
9. Henri Saivet – Released
No surprise here but then again, the man’s a genius. Doing nothing but train for several years and getting £30-£35k a week for doing so!
There have been no takers no matter how many times we circulate his name, meaning he’s probably not going anywhere this month, but we’ll finally be rid of him when his deal expires in June. I’m sure he’s a decent bloke but he’s been one hell of a waste of money.
10. Achraf Lazaar – Released
Like Saivet he might just get himself a move this month if we agree to release him early, but he often talks a good game and drops a team being interested…only for nothing to ever happen!
Another who’ll finally depart for good at the end of the season.
11. Rolando Aarons – Sold
Reason being that Huddersfield seem desperate to sign him and it looks a done deal.
Let’s hope so as there was a player in there once and it would be nice to see if he could get a chance to find him again!
So, there you have it. Eleven that could easily go and of them I’d only really look at the three CB’s to stay – although, as I’ve indicated, I think Schar may still end up moving on.