It is no secret that there is a whole host of players Rafa Benitez is desperate to offload this summer.

With Mike Ashley starving the manager of funds, it looks to be only if a decent number of them can be found new homes – can the United boss make any significant progress in bringing in players he needs.

As to why so many of these unwanted ‘stars’ are still at St James Park, it looks to be an unwieldy combination of Mike Ashley insisting on holding out for too much in the way of transfer fees, as well as the players themselves being immovable on the far too high wages compared to their ability, that they have been lucky enough to end up on.

Monday morning brings news of a player said to be wanted by two Premier League clubs but his wage demands making any deal all but impossible.

Both Burnley and Swansea are said to be keen on Jack Colback but according to The Sun, matching his £70,000 a week wages isn’t going to happen.

A typical ‘bargain’ signing under Mike Ashley/Graham Carr, Jack Colback was able to negotiate far higher wages than he should have been able to, due to arriving as a free agent – out of contract after leaving Sunderland.

One of numerous players to be given contracts that were far too long, Colback was given a five year one, meaning Newcastle could be stuck with him until June 2019 unless somebody will take him.

With talk of a bust up with Rafa Benitez, the midfielder was even left out of the public training session at St James Park on Thursday.

The United boss preferred to bring in Curtis Good and Macauley Gillesphey from the reserve set-up to make up the numbers, rather than involving six of his unwanted players.

Joining Krul, Lazaar and Riviere in being frozen out, were Massadio Haidara, Grant Hanley and Jack Colback.

Colback did ok in his first (2014/15) season but was terrible in the relegation (2015/16) one, his lack of pace and absence of any creativity making him a passenger.

Dropping into the Championship, he failed to look above that standard and Rafa left him out as cover most of the time, sometimes coming in for Isaac Hayden.

It is numerous deals such as Colback’s (along with de Jong, Mitrovic etc) that have crippled Newcastle, if The Sun is ‘on the money’ with their wage figure, Jack Colback would cost Newcastle at least £17.5m in basic wages (without bonuses…) if he sees out his five year deal.

Siem de Jong is three years into a six(!!) year deal and so on.

Realistically, these players are probably worth no more than half the money they ended up on at Newcastle and especially when it comes to trying to offload players such as Haidara, de Jong, Riviere etc, where the only possibility is selling them abroad, there is no way clubs in France, Holland etc who would want them, could get anywhere near their NUFC salaries.

With 10 days to go of the transfer window it is like an equation with no possible answer, unless somebody radically changes their position.



  • HenrySlade

    I don’t think Colback is half as bad as this writer claims; yes, he lacks a yard of pace, but he’s got skill, a good attitude and can play in a number of positions in midfield or defence.

    • Geordiegiants

      I don’t think he is anywhere near as bad as some on here make out, but Rafa has obviously lost faith in him, so it’s time to go.

      • Toonrobbybobson

        Gives away too many needless freekicks in dangerous places that would be even worse in prem.

      • Mid-table Championship player, no better.

    • HarryHype59

      Our ball retention has been appalling the last two games. Colback can keep the ball fairly well at EPL level. Hayden hasn’t looked convincing this season. Perhaps Rafa is writing him off too soon, rather like he is for Mitro.

      • Geordiegiants

        I’m not to disappointed about Mitro, his job is to score goals and he can’t. It’s a bit different with Jacks game.

  • Jezza

    In the case of Colback, the club should just let him go on a free transfer. He didn’t cost a fee so we don’t need to recoup a fee for him. Just get shot of him.

    • 1957

      If we gave him a free transfer would it not cost us money to move him on. He would at least be entitled to any loyalty bonuses/signing on fees spread across his contract given he hasn’t asked for a transfer

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        the club needs to write the whole sorry bunch of them off & take a one time hit. Just get rid of them

        • Paul Patterson

          Do you realise how much this would cost?

          • magpiefifer

            Not as much as relegation.
            But Ashley won’l cut his losses!

    • Rich Lawson

      Give him a free,he’ll get a signing on fee that will compensate for the drop in wages ?

    • Phildene

      We can’t get rid of him as clubs can’t and won’t pay his overblown wages, so not as simple as that. He could also be like Hanley in refusing to move unless wages are matched-cheeky buggers!!

      • NUFC9

        Blame the club not the player. If someone offered me 70 grand a week I’d take it and I wouldn’t be keen on moving to another job for much less money until my contract was up.

        The player’s only at fault here if he’s refusing to play/train/do what he’s contracted to do.

  • Hughie

    70k a week– who dreamed up this garbage!! More like 30k I suspect. His disciplinary record lets him down, otherwise he would be worth keeping. Totally unimpressed with Hayden in the last two games, offers very little. Merino very promising though.

    • HarryHype59

      How do you know he isn’t on 70k a week? It seems excessive but this is NUFC.

  • Paul Patterson

    Whoever gave out that contract should be sacked.
    If it’s Charnley then what an excuse to get rid of him..

    • Kneebotherm8

      We’d just end up with another clown, puppet,yes man in his place.

    • HarryHype59

      It’s not just Ginger Jack. Saivet, Hanley ,Haidara and Mitro are all on wages that no potential buying club will match. The club will have to subsidise their wages if they go out on loan! Contracts will need to be paid up even if they are allowed to leave for free!

      These toxic assets are draining the club finances. The dolt who sanctioned these deals should be sacked!

      • Oooh bobbi fleckman

        I don’t recall anyone complaining when Colback was signed. I understood it was considered a coup to nick him from Sunderland.

        • HarryHype59

          Perhaps people didn’t realise he was on such a mega deal. What about the other duffers given long contracts on too high wages by this regime?

          Sound financial management eh?

          Btw did you actually go to the Huddersfield match?

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            I didn’t, I was at the wrong end of the country at the weekend.

            I’d not be surprised at £60-70K he’d supposedly turned down £60k to stay at Sunderland, why would he come for less?

  • JulioLaker

    Sack him for refusing to train. He cost nothing. Nothing lost if we don’t get a fee for him.

    • Toonrobbybobson

      He should have no moans ifnthey ask him to train, clean boots, toilets, do dinners, coffee etc for that price

  • Paul Busby

    70k cannot be right…

  • NUFC9

    Given that we are notoriously tight when it comes to paying the going rate for wages it’s staggering that we have so many players who were signed 3-4 years ago but are on wages well above what they are worth even in today’s inflated market.

  • Toonrobbybobson

    £70k…??? Wtf!?!

  • MagpieG

    Colback is on £35k a week not £70k as was reported the ever reliable Sun.