Alan Judge looked destined to be a Newcastle United player last summer.
The Brentford midfielder was reported to be signing for NUFC despite still recovering from a shocking double leg break towards the end of last season.
However, the deal for the midfielder then fell through allegedly, due to Alan Judge not being as far along the line to recovery as Newcastle had anticipated.
Then in December, the player confirmed Newcastle’s interest (see below) and that any potential deal had been put on hold because he was some way off playing again.
This didn’t prevent more speculation about a Newcastle move in January, with much of the story revolving around the belief that a transfer would be on the cheap, as the Brentford star is due to be a free agent this summer.
The doubts about his return to action have proved correct, with Judge still not having returned to first team action and it will be fully a year on 9 April 2017 since the Ipswich match where he picked up the double leg break.
However, Monday sees Alan Judge commenting on his situation and appearing to indicate that Brentford would be his preference beyond this season.
The midfielder turns 29 in November and so you would think this is the last big contract decision of his career. If nobody else is showing their hand then little wonder he will be thinking he is best off talking about staying loyal to Brentford.
With Rafa Benitez clearly having shown interest in him last summer, it will be interesting to see if there is any further move for a player who scored 14 Championship goals from midfield last season in 38 games.
Alan Judge talking to the Irish Times 27 March 2017:
“I’ll find out what’s going to happen in the next week or so.
“I’ll make a decision, but Brentford to me, at this moment in time, feels like the right place to be.
“They have been good to me and I feel that when I’ve been playing I’ve been good for them.
“Hopefully you’ll see a bit of news in the next few days.”
Alan Judge speaking on 27 December 2016:
“All I know is that there was contact (with Newcastle) in the summer. When I found out, I had just had the screws taken out of my leg.
“I never went up there (to St James Park) and had a medical, I never even left my couch.
“I think they just wanted to see how far along I was. I wasn’t where they wanted me to be and I wasn’t where I wanted to be either. So it wouldn’t have been fair on anybody (to make the move).
“We’ll just wait and see (on any potential move in January). It’s the last thing on my mind at the moment.
“It’s nice, it gives you great confidence when there’s interest from such a big club (like Newcastle), but after that went by, my mind was just on getting fit. That’s the main thing.”