Newcastle United set for contract talks with Federico Fernandez
A clutch of Newcastle United players are coming to the end of their deals at St James’s Park.
Dwight Gayle, Jacob Murphy and Fabian Schar are all on contracts which expire at the campaign. United are hoping to agree new deals with Gayle and Murphy, while the club has an option to extend Schar’s contract by another year.
A new deal for experienced defender Federico Fernandez is also high up the agenda given his importance to the team.
Fernandez, signed by Rafa Benitez from Swansea City in the summer of 2018, returned from a calf problem in Newcastle’s 2-1 win over Burnley last weekend, and also started yesterday’s 3-2 win over West Ham United at St James's Park.
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The 32-year-old, among those sidelined by Covid-19 during an outbreak at the training ground late last year, is set for discussions with the club.
Steve Bruce, United's head coach, addressed Fernandez’s contractual situation after the West Ham win eased the club’s relegation fears.
“There’s going to be discussions,” said Bruce. “To be fair we’ve all concentrated on one thing at the moment, getting results.
“Feddy was another one badly, badly infected with Covid. Then got an awful calf strain, so you take Feddy, and how much he’s missed, the skipper (Jamaal Lascelles), Fab Schar, Callum (Wilson) … our big players, who you rely on.
“We’ve been without them too long. I’ve said time and time again, especially to you guys (the media), if we’re right, we’re fit, we’ve got our best players available, then we’ll be OK. Without them, it becomes a struggle. It’s good to see him (Fernandez) back playing.”
Bruce gave an update on contract talks with striker Gayle, signed by Benitez from Crystal Palace in the summer of 2016, earlier this month.
“I think he’s talking to the club, and it (a new contract) is almost there, I believe,” said Bruce. “Good news for him.”
The club, which takes on Liverpool at Anfield next weekend, also has an option to extend the contract of defender Paul Dummett. Bruce said: “I believe we have an option to extend his contract next year."