Jack Colback has confirmed he DOES have a year remaining on his deal at Newcastle United - but admits his future on Tyneside still looks bleak.
It was widely reported that the former Sunderland midfielder would see his deal at St James's Park expire in the summer, but Colback has now confirmed that his current contract does not expire until the summer of 2020.
But he isn't holding out much hope of a future at his boyhood club.
The 29-year-old admits it is 'unlikely' that he will will play for Newcastle United again, regardless of whether manager Rafa Benitez - who has deemed the midfielder as surplus to requirements - remains beyond the summer.
"I have a year left on my contract at Newcastle," he told the Nottingham Post.
"When I saw the reports that said I was out of contract, I had to check with my agent that I did have a year left.
“It is not as though I am looking at it and thinking that I will go back to Newcastle and try to get back in the team. I am realistic enough to know that, if the current manager is still there, I am not going to be playing.
“I am not sat here thinking that things might change if he goes – the way I am looking at it is to think that I haven’t played for the club for two years and it is unlikely that I will do again.
“We will see what happens in the summer.
“I really enjoyed my time at Newcastle. Getting relegated was hard, because it is my home town club and I have a lot of family and friends up there. That was tough to take.
“In the time I was there, I played a lot of games. It did not end too well. But that happens with football. It is one of those things that is out of the blue."
Colback has impressed during his loan spell at Nottingham Forest this season with Martin O'Neill - who rated him highly when manager at Sunderland - handing him a key role in the side.
And the midfielder would be keen to stay at the City Ground if a deal could be thrashed out, but is aware things may not be that straightforward.
“If you ask me if I would like to come back and sign permanently, the answer is yes," he admitted.
“It is not as easy as that in football. Forest themselves have to commit to a permanent deal. Then you have to work out that deal.
“It is not as straightforward as a yes or no. But I have enjoyed my time here and, if the opportunity arose, it is one I would view positively, with good thought.