Newcastle legend Alan Shearer discusses the club takeover
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It has been party time for the last few days in Newcastle following the news that the club have finally been taken over by a Saudi-backed consortium. Following years of mediocrity under the ownership of the highly unpopular Mike Ashley, the sale of the Magpies was at long last confirmed on Thursday.
A bright new dawn on Tyneside beckons, with businesswoman Amanda Staveley seemingly highly confident that Newcastle will soon be one of the leading forces in English and perhaps even European football.
They are not expected to waste much time in splashing the cash on new signings, with a number of high-profile players being linked with a January move, among them the likes of Anthony Martial, Aaron Ramsey and Jesse Lingard.
Before they look towards new stars, however, Staveley and co. may first wish to sort out the futures of some of the squad members already on the books in the north east.
There are five important members of the first-team whose contracts are set to expire at the end of the season, and thus could leave on a free transfer in the summer.
One of those is centre-back Federico Fernandez, who has made a total of 83 appearances in all competitions over the last three seasons.
The Argentine is a popular figure, and is a useful figure to have in the dressing room even if other defenders are signed.
Another centre-back, Fabian Schar, is also nearing the end of his current deal, and it remains to be seen whether or not he has a long-term future on the Toon.
Meanwhile, the Longstaff brothers, Matthew and Sean, also find themselves in a state of flux despite at one stage being seen as highly exciting prospects.
With new midfielders among the positions being prioritised, the siblings may now find themselves surplus to requirements at St James’ Park.
Finally, long-serving local boy Paul Dummett also has just eight months left on his current deal.
The Welsh international has given his all for his hometown team, but is surely the type of player who will be moved on in favour of someone younger and more talented.
Looking to the future, the new Newcastle owners will be relieved that some of the team’s stars are already tied down to long-term contracts.
Winger Allan Saint-Maximin penned a deal lasting until 2026, while Callum Wilson’s lasts until 2024 and Joe Willock’s until 2027.
Those three names will surely remain amid the revolution, and it will be intriguing to see who is brought in to strengthen the positions around them.
St James’ Park is sure to be rocking for Newcastle’s first game since the takeover when they face Tottenham at the weekend.
But it remains to be seen if manager Steve Bruce will be in the dugout, with speculation growing that he could be sacked before then.
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