Newcastle United have asked for special permission to enable Christian Atsu to be available for the Blackburn match on Monday.

As it stands, the winger is set to start a training camp with Ghana on that day, in preparation for the African Cup of Nations that kick off on 14 January 2017.

The rules state that players have to be made available 14 days before the tournament start, unless the relevant FA give special permission for a player to turn up late.

Yesterday we reported that Aston Villa had already asked for Jordan Ayew to be able to play against Cardiff City on Monday but as yet Steve Bruce hadn’t had an answer from the Ghana FA.

Now GhanaSoccernet have revealed in an exclusive, that Newcastle have also asked similar permission for Christian Atsu.

As it stands, Rafa Benitez could be facing the loss of three players for the Blackburn v Newcastle game, with also no confirmation yet as to the situation with Chancel Mbemba or Mohamed Diame.

Already without the suspended Jonjo Shelvey, it had been anticipated by most Newcastle fans that Christian Atsu, Chancel Mbemba and Mohamed Diame would all be available for the Forest and Blackburn games before heading off on international duty.

 

Christian Atsu and Ghana’s face Uganda, Egypt and Mali in the group stage of the African Cup on Nations, with the tournament eventually ending with a final on 5 February 2017.