Read Aleksandar Mitrovic's full heartfelt interview on his Newcastle future
Aleksandar Mitrovic's admitted his Newcastle United future is in the balance.
Mitrovic has opened up on his future in an interview with the Gazette ahead of the January transfer window.
The Serbia international – who came off the bench in Saturday’s 4-1 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford – needs to play between now and next summer’s World Cup finals in Russia.
However, Mitrovic, signed from Anderlecht in the summer of 2015, has played just 49 minutes of Premier League football so far this season.
United manager Rafa Benitez has told the 23-year-old to be patient, but Mitrovic – who says he has taken the club to his heart – has admitted that his patience is wearing thin.
Here’s what Mitrovic had to say to the Gazette:
Is it hard to be patient?
“I’m patient, but we will see. My patience is almost to the end, so we will see. I want to play. I want to be on the pitch. I’m patient, but we will see.”
How important is the World Cup to you?
“It’s a big thing for the whole country, for all the Serbian players and for all the people in Serbia.
“It’s a big thing for my country, for my family and for all people in Serbia.
“If you want to do something there, you have to be ready.
“If I want to be ready, I have to play games and to be on the pitch scoring goals. That’s it.”
Will you assess your situation in a month?
“I see where I am already. I’ve said already that I’m patient, but we will see.
“I don’t know what to say. I’m here, and we’ll see what’s happening.”
Do you hope to stay and play for Newcastle between now and the World Cup?
“I want to be here. I want to play. I like this club. I train good, I try to use every minute. We will see. I’ll try to do my best in the next few weeks.”
What does it mean to you when you hear fans chanting your name?
“This is what’s keeping me alive. Since the beginning, I don’t know why, but we have had a really amazing relationship. I love them, they love me.
“Newcastle is in my heart, and even if I maybe go somewhere, Newcastle will be in my heart. I hope I will stay here, but we will see what happens. I will always be a Newcastle United fan all my life. We will see.”
What was your view of the Man United game?
“We had a good 25-30 minutes. We scored a goal and I think we could have scored one more. We had chances, but we didn’t.
“With big teams like Manchester United, if you don’t score your chances they will punish you.
“They did and scored two goals after that and in the second half they finished the game.
“This (Man United) is a big team – one of the best on the world. They have the best players in the world, so they will use every chance and punish you.
“We made some mistakes and got punished. In the second half, they finished the game.
“We have to learn from this. Our season is long. We will play again against them and big teams, so we have to learn from this game.”