Newcastle United are close to finalising a new deal with Swiss defender Fabian Schar, who is set to shun a number of offers from abroad, TEAMtalk understands.
The cash-rich Magpies are beginning plans for next season after all-but guaranteeing their Premier League future. Five January signings appear to have given Newcastle the impetus they need, after struggling in the first half of the season. Now sat in 15th and 10 points clear of the drop, the Toon can now effectively make plans for next season.
Indeed, Eddie Howe will be afforded another handsome transfer budget in an effort to push Newcastle into the top half of the table. As such, a number of big names are being linked with moves.
Top of their agenda appears to be a new talismanic striker. To that end, they are casting admiring glances in the direction of a Napoli dangerman.
A big part of what Howe is trying to build at Newcastle stems from having a solid and settled defence. Clean sheets in the wins over Wolves, Brentford, Leeds and Aston Villa this year have proved important steps in the rebuilding process.
Offers from abroad
And one man at the heart of that is Schar, who has seriously impressed Howe since taking charge.
He appeared certain to leave St James’ Park at the end of the season with his deal due to expire. With offers from clubs in France, Germany and Turkey, the Swiss star appears a man in demand.
Indeed, Lille, Borussia Monchengladbach and Galatasaray are among those to have made contact with his agent.
Furthermore, it was recently reported that his agent has held talks with representatives of AC Milan
However, TEAMtalk understands that Howe and Newcastle are set to agree a new long-term deal for Schar.
The 30-year-old has even risen ahead of captain Jamal Lascelles in the pecking order, on the back of his form.
Fabian Schar always wanted Newcastle stay
Schar, however, has always made clear his wish to stay at St James’ Park.
Indeed, Schar himself said in March: “Everyone at the club knows how comfortable I feel in this team and under this coach.
“I can well imagine staying at Newcastle beyond the summer. It wasn’t always like that; things weren’t always very happy for me under the old owner.
“The next few weeks will show how things will go for me. Newcastle are certainly my priority.”
Now it seems both player and club have got their wish with Schar likely to sign a new two-year deal. That will keep the 69-times capped Switzerland international on Tyneside until summer 2024.
Since signing from Deportivo La Coruna in 2019, Schar has played 96 times for Newcastle, scoring a commendable nine goals.
‘Performance close to zero’ – Manchester United player hammered as ‘3rd/4th tier’ standard
Paul Pogba has less than two months left on his contract at Manchester United and is likely to leave Old Trafford as a free agent for the second time in his career.
Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain have been pushed forward as the two clubs who are in the picture to sign the midfielder
TuttoMercatoWeb state a meeting between the Manchester United man’s entourage and Juve earlier this week ‘officially opened’ the door for him to return.
It’s claimed the Old Lady’s offer is ‘expected shortly’. TMW state the ‘benchmark is the PSG offer’ of €10m per year plus bonuses.
The Ligue 1 side’s chief, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, has full focus on renewing Kylian Mbappè’s contract so that he can stop the forward joining Real Madrid.
Al-Khelaifi has put ‘everything else on standby’, including talks with Pogba’s entourage. This could benefit Juve in the race to sign their former midfielder.
Calciomercato.it also explain Juventus have held a first summit and the ‘new contacts will follow’ soon to acquire the Manchester United player’s services.
However, Italian journalist Furio Focolari has issued a warning to the Turin club not to sign Pogba, due to his poor performances for the Red Devils.
“Pogba’s performance in the last three years is as a third or fourth-tier player. Dybala scored 11 goals in his worst season, Pogba’s performance is close to zero,” Focolari told Radio Radio, relayed by Calciomercato.it.
“I’m talking about performance, not quality. I don’t know why it hurts so much. I have huge doubts about him. However, I would not take a player too late in their careers, like Perisic or Di Maria.”
Luke Woolfenden shares message with Ipswich Town supporters after sealing fresh agreement
Ipswich Town defender Luke Woolfenden has taken to Instagram to share a message with the club’s supporters after sealing a fresh agreement with the League One outfit yesterday.
As confirmed by the club’s official website, Woolfenden is now set to stay at Portman Road until 2025 following his decision to sign a new deal.
The 23-year-old’s previous contract was set to expire in 2024 and thus he is now set to remain an Ipswich player for a further 12 months.
After making 25 appearances for Ipswich in League One during the 2020/21 campaign, Woolfenden stepped up his performance levels last season.
During the 31 league games that he featured in for the Blues, the defender managed to record an average WhoScored match rating of 6.89 in this division which was only bettered by three of his team-mates.
Woolfenden will be determined to help Ipswich launch a push for promotion later this year.
The Blues ended the previous term 13 points adrift of the play-off places.
After Ipswich announced Woolfenden’s new contract, the defender admitted on Instagram that he is looking to help bring some exciting times back to the club next season.
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Woolfenden posted: “Looking forward to the new season starting and helping bring exciting times back to this club @ipswichtown.
“Big up to the sharpest agent in the game @scottb3rpm.”
Whereas Ipswich did produce some promising performances under the guidance of manager Kieran McKenna last season, the damage in terms of their hopes of achieving promotion had already been done by the time that they handed over the reins to the Northern Irishman in December.
Ahead of what is expected to be a busy summer of transfer activity, McKenna will already be seeking out potential targets as he looks to take the club to new heights.
Woolfenden is expected to play a key role for Ipswich next season as he started every league game for the club in the second half of the previous campaign.
By continuing to improve as a player, the defender could help his side finally secure a return to the Championship in the not-too-distant future.