Jonjo Shelvey explains Newcastle United departure as Magpies target likely to leave PL rivals ‘in the summer’

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Newcastle United continue to be linked with a potential move for Scott McTominay.

Jonjo Shelvey has revealed his desire to find ‘a new challenge’ was the key factor behind his decision to depart Newcastle United.

The long-serving midfielder completed a move to Premier League rivals Nottingham Forest in the final hours of the January transfer window after the two clubs had agreed a deal just days earlier.

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Shelvey moved to Tyneside in January 2016 after the Magpies agreed a £12m deal for the then-Swansea City midfielder. Remaining with the club after relegation just months later, he would play a lead role in helping United bounce back into the Premier League at the first attempt.

Continuing to be an influential presence under Rafa Benitez and his successor Steve Bruce, Shelvey helped the Magpies re-establish themselves in the top flight over the years that followed.

Jonjo Shelvey scored a memorable goal at Bramall Lane in December 2019. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)Jonjo Shelvey scored a memorable goal at Bramall Lane in December 2019. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Jonjo Shelvey scored a memorable goal at Bramall Lane in December 2019. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

However, injuries have hampered his game-time over the last 12 months and the midfielder had made just three appearances in all competitions so far this season ahead of his move to the City Ground. Shelvey was not included in the Forest squad that claimed a narrow win against relegation rivals Leeds United on Sunday but is expected to return to fitness in the near-future.

Reflecting on his decision to leave Newcastle, he told Forest TV: “It was a difficult one because my kids are settled there in school so it’s a hard decision to make, but I felt like I needed a fresh start.

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“I loved my time at Newcastle. I will never ever have a bad word to say about anyone at the club. I’ve got a lot of friends there on and off the pitch that I’ve made and formed friendships that will last a lifetime. But I felt, for me, personally, I needed to come away from it and get myself a new challenge. I still feel I’ve got many years left in me so I wanted to come away and really put my football knowledge and experience to another club.”

Magpies transfer target ‘likely’ to leave Manchester United this summer

Reported Newcastle United target Scott McTominay likely to leave Manchester United after falling down the pecking order at Old Trafford, according to CBS reporter Ben Jacobs. The Scotland international has seen his opportunities for first team decrease significantly this season following the arrival of Brazilian veteran Casemiro and Danish playmaker Christian Eriksen, and could in line for an exit in the coming months.

McTominay is a product of the Red Devils’ own academy system, and has established himself as a regular first team presence in recent years. Of his 15 Premier League appearances this season, however, just seven have been from the first whistle, with Erik ten Hag generally preferring to utilise other options in the centre of midfield.

Scott McTominay missed Manchester United’s win over Reading. Credit: Getty.Scott McTominay missed Manchester United’s win over Reading. Credit: Getty.
Scott McTominay missed Manchester United’s win over Reading. Credit: Getty. | Manchester United via Getty Imag

During the January transfer window, The Telegraph reported that Newcastle were interested in a potential deal for McTominay, with claims that the 26-year-old is ‘widely liked’ by Toon chiefs. Nothing materialised last month, of course, but Jacobs has since suggested that the player’s future remains uncertain.

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Speaking to GiveMeSport, he said: “What we do know about Manchester United is that Scott McTominay will, in all likelihood, leave in the summer, and Newcastle were interested. So, they may look to make some kind of central midfield reinforcement.”

McTominay’s current contract at Old Trafford is not due to expire until 2025, with the Red Devils also holding the option of triggering an automatic year-long extension, should they choose to do so. And while that does leave Ten Hag’s side in a strong position from a negotiating standpoint, it is understood that an exit is still very much on the cards.

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