Jonjo Shelvey’s firm response to speculation about his future at Newcastle

Jonjo Shelvey in action for Newcastle against Doncaster in midweek
Jonjo Shelvey in action for Newcastle against Doncaster in midweek

Jonjo Shelvey says he has no intention of walking away from relegated Newcastle United.

Shelvey has been linked with a move away from the club in the wake of relegation.

Crystal Palace are interested in Shelvey, who knows his England prospects could be harmed by a season in the Championship.

But the 24-year-old, speaking as team-mate Georginio Wijnaldum’s move to his former club Liverpool was being finalised, insists that he is not looking towards the exit door.

“It is what it is – that’s football,” said Shelvey, signed from Swansea City for £12million in January. “I always wanted to stay here because I want to play for Newcastle United Football Club.

“That’s been the only thing in my mind, and fingers crossed I can get the opportunity off the gaffer to play week in week out next season and show him what I’m made of.”

Shelvey – who briefly crossed paths with Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez at Anfield, with the Spaniard signing him just before his departure – is hopeful that the club can quickly return to the Premier League.

However, having played in the Championship himself with Charlton Athletic and loan club Blackpool earlier in his career, he knows the club can take nothing for granted ahead of what will be a gruelling 46-game season.

“Hopefully, we’ll be back in the Premier League before too long,” said Shelvey, set to face Belgian side Sporting Lokeren this afternoon (3.30pm BST).

“But we are where we are now, and we can’t get ahead of ourselves.

“I’m not looking towards the future too much. The main thing is to get this club out of the Championship because that’s the minimum that we owe the fans.”

United have already signed six players this summer, with three of them – Dwight Gayle, Matt Ritchie and Isaac Hayden – having left Premier League clubs to play for Newcastle in English football’s second tier.

Matz Sels and Jesus Gamez have swapped Champions League football for the Championship and Shelvey feels their willingness to step down a division underlines the size of the club.

“You look at the players that have come in this summer, and that just underlines how a big a club this is,” said Shelvey.

“There are people who have come from Premier League clubs. You might think ‘why would they want to leave the Premier League?’, but they see the potential here at Newcastle and want to be a part of it.

“Fair play to them for stepping down a league and trying to help this club get out of the situation that we got ourselves into.

“I’m sure with that added quality in our team, it will make us improve even more.”

Meanwhile, United have sold their 2,750-ticket allocation for the club’s season-opening fixture against Fulham at Craven Cottage on August 5.