Mohamed Diame says it’s NOT the time to talk about his contract – as he’s focused on Newcastle United’s survival battle.
Diame’s deal St James’s Park expires this summer, though the 31-year-old is close to triggering a one-year contract extension.
Diame – who has made 21 starts and one substitute’s appearance for relegation-threatened United in the Premier League so far this season – needs to play 25 games to activate the extension.
However, the Gazette revealed last week that he’s looking for a two-year extension to his deal.
Diame, signed from Hull City for £4.5million in the summer of 2016, made his comeback from injury against Wolverhampton Wanderers last Monday.
The former Senegal international came off the bench at Molineux after recovering from a fractured metatarsal.
I’m happy here, but it’s not me who’s going to decide about my future. I just try to help the team to get the target.Mohamed Diame
And Diame is focused on playing his part between now and the end of the season, having missed six weeks of the campaign.
“My thinking is still the same,” said Diame, who is pushing to be involved against Huddersfield Town at St James’s Park on Saturday.
“I’m happy here, but it’s not me who’s going to decide about my future.
“I just try to help the team to get the target, and afterwards we’ll see. It’s not the moment to talk about my future. I’m happy and settled down in Newcastle. Everything is OK.
“I’m focused on the target – that’s it. The manager needs me to give everything for this team, and it’s what I will do until the end.”
Diame – who retired from international football two years ago to prolong his club career – had been an ever-present up to the home game against Manchester United on January 2, when he suffered a groin injury.
That was only a minor injury, however, with the main injury coming when he fractured a metatarsal on his return to training several days later,
“I had a crack on my bone in my fifth metatarsal,” Diame revealed.
“The Man United game was just my groin, but I was fine after two or three days. At the training during the week, I received a kick on my foot and I had a crack on the bone.
“Now I’m back, and I hope I will help the team. I will give everything to help the team and make sure we get our target as soon as possible.”
Rafa Benitez also lost Jonjo Shelvey to a recurrence of a niggling thigh early last month.
With Ki Sung-yueng away at the Asian Cup, United’s manager turned to Isaac Hayden and Sean Longstaff.
Ki, like Diame, is also back fit after recovering from the hamstring injury he suffered while away with South Korea for the Asian Cup, and the pair played 45 minutes of the weekend’s friendly against CSKA Moscow in Spain, which ended in a 1-1 draw.
Shelvey, meanwhile, is closing in on his comeback from injury, but didn’t feature in the friendly clash with Benitez wary of rushing him back too soon.
Benitez said: “He’s pushing, but, sometimes, when you have other options, it’s about managing him and making sure he’s fit for the rest of the season.”