Shola Ameobi: It’ll be a ‘sad moment’ when I leave Newcastle

VOW ... Newcastle's Shola Ameobi.
VOW ... Newcastle's Shola Ameobi.

SHOLA Ameobi admits his future is likely to lie away from Newcastle United.

And the long-serving striker is determined to give everything for the club between now and the summer, when his contract at St James’s Park expires.

All the indications are that this season will be Ameobi’s last at St James’s Park.

And Ameobi – who has scored 77 goals for the club since making his debut more than 13 years ago – says it will be a “sad moment” when his career at United finally ends.

But the 32-year-old, expected to make Nigeria’s squad for this summer’s World Cup finals in Brazil, still feels he has a lot to offer before that day comes.

“After the summer, my future is unclear,” Ameobi, pictured, told the Gazette.

“Basically, I’ll do what I’ve always done. Like I’ve always said, I’ve never taken it (playing for Newcastle) for granted. Every time I step on that pitch, I relish it.

“When it does finally end, it’ll be a sad moment, but at the moment my focus is trying to help this club.

“That’s what I’ve always tried to do, and that will never change.”

Ameobi, an unused substitute for Newcastle’s last two games, the defeats to Totttenham Hotspur and Chelsea, has made 388 appearances for United over the past 13 years.

If Ameobi plays another 10 games this season, he will overtake club legend Jackie Milburn (397), who is 10th in Newcastle’s all-time appearances table.

The Academy graduate – who has been linked with a summer move to Chinese club Guangzhou R&F, managed by Sven-Goran Eriksson – hasn’t scored a league goal since December 2012, when he netted in a home win over Queens Park Rangers.

However, the emergence of Ameobi’s 21-year-old brother Sammy means the family name will adorn black and white shirts after his exit.

Meanwhile, Rubin Kazan have again been linked with United striker Papiss Demba Cisse after a move for PSV Eindhoven’s Tim Matavz broke down.

The club can sign players until February 27, when the Russian transfer window closes.

And Arsenal are reportedly among the teams eyeing a summer move for Loic Remy, on a season-long loan at Newcastle.

The odds are seemingly stacked against United making his move from Queens Park Rangers permanent given the interest in the 27-year-old elsewhere.

Remy’s Loftus Road salary would also break the club’s strict wage structure.

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew held yesterday’s training session at St James’s Park.

Meanwhile, Newcastle yesterday banned the Sunday Express after the newspaper claimed that would be sacked if his team failed to beat Aston Villa on Sunday.

Pardew’s position is not understood to be under threat.

* Newcastle United’s Under-18s will face Chelsea at home in the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup.

Chelsea beat Cardiff City 2-0 to book a place in the last eight.

Twitter: @milesstarforth