Newcastle United have been linked with literally hundreds of transfer ‘targets’ in the past two months but now Ryan Shawcross has popped up again as a possibility.
Back in April, there were claims that Newcastle had lined up the Stoke Captain with Rafa Beniez wanting to make Ryan Shawcross the leader of his defence and potentially new captain.
At the time, the ongoing speculation brought responses from both Stoke boss Mark Hughes and the player himself.
Shawcross turns 30 in October and has only one year left on his contract, which helped prompt claims that Stoke wouldn’t be prepared to offer a massive new contract and it would/could lead to club and player parting company.
Mark Hughes said this back in April about Ryan Shawcross:
“We’re looking to sit down and re-contract him, along with others.
“That would make sense for everybody.
“Talk of a move (to Newcastle) is pure speculation.”
Despite claims by Hughes that contract talks were imminent with the club captain, two and a half months later Stoke have confirmed that nothing has happened as yet.
Chief Executive Tony Scholes talking to the Stoke Sentinel:
“There’s nothing really to say on Ryan…
“Nothing to say apart from he’s been a great player for the club, he’s been here a number of years now, been a huge part of what the club has achieved over the years and we hope that will remain the case for many years to come.
“When you’ve got important players, you want to do something sooner rather than later – but that is a very simple statement about what can be a very complicated and long process.”
The lack of contract talks has come at the same time as claims that Stoke are looking at younger alternatives to build the defence around with supposed interest in Ben Gibson and Jeison Murillo.
Back in April Ryan Shawcross was very relaxed about the whole situation, which is no surprise when he holds all the aces. A proven Premier League centre-back with only a year left on his contract, who at 29 should still have a good five or six years at the top level considering the position he plays.
When asked about the claimed NUFC interest he replied with a laugh:“I’m not going to Newcastle… at the moment.”
There have been no further signings since Atsu straight after the season ended but Newcastle have been linked with countless players, especially centre-backs.
For the past four weeks the Magpies have allegedly been ‘getting closer’ to signing Florian Lejeune but despite what looks a relatively simple deal (he has a 10m euros buyout clause), still nothing has happened.
This raises the possibility of Newcastle potentially holding off on Lejeune as they maybe wait to see if they can land a more experienced, solid looking, signing such as Ryan Shawcross.