It has been revealed that a contract clause extension will be triggered, if Mohamed Diame plays a certain number of matches this season.
The midfielder has struggled badly this season but Rafa Benitez has persevered with the former Hull player, as the other options clearly didn’t impress him.
Mikel Merino had happily left Newcastle this summer when his own contract clause was triggered, Real Sociedad offered the required £10m.
However, Mike Ashley refused to allow Rafa Benitez to spend money on what was essential strengthening of the engine room, instead only allowing him to bring in free transfer Ki Sung-yeung.
Rafa clearly doesn’t want to play Isaac Hayden, the defensive midfielder who did everything he could to try and leave Newcastle this summer.
Whilst after giving Ki a couple of games earlier in the season when Shelvey was unavailable, the manager ended up dropping the South Korean from the matchday squad altogether.
Ki missing from the bench for five weeks before recalled against Southampton, making a brief sub appearance thee, before Rafa’s hand was forced on Saturday with 40 minutes to go.
The 29 year old former Swansea man putting in a man of the match performance.
If Shelvey recovers for next Saturday, very interesting to see what Benitez will do in the centre of midfield.
Before Saturday’s game, our poll of Newcastle fans saw them wanting Ki Sung-yeung in the team against Watford, a slight preference in support over Mohamd Diame.
After yet another poor showing by Diame against Watford, combined with Ki doing so well, I think there will be overwhelming support for a Ki/Shelvey partnership to be given a try.
After a very poor first 18 months at Newcastle, Mohamed Diame looked like a totally different player over the course of a dozen or so matches in the second half of last season.
However, he has looked more like his old uninspiring self this season, leaving Shelvey fighting a lone battle in midfield and Newcastle second best in the middle of the pitch in almost every game.
Diame hasn’t got the best touch anyway and his biggest strength of stamina and getting around the pitch has badly faded this season, turning 32 in June it is difficult to see him being anywhere near good enough for next season, that is especially so if Newcastle remain in the Premier League of course.
‘The Chronicle understands that Diame already has an arrangement with the club to earn an extension and this will be triggered later in the season if he plays a specific number of games.
‘His current deal will expire at the end of the season but the conditions of the contract he signed in 2016 mean his future is in his own hands.
‘Diame has been an ever present in the United line-up this term, starting every game and playing 976 minutes so far with Martin Dubravka also involved in each Premier League outing.’