The state of play with every Newcastle United player with pre-season just days away and transfer talk rife

More feels up in the air about Newcastle United at the minute than anything concrete being in place.

Monday, 28th June 2021, 4:45 pm
Updated Monday, 28th June 2021, 5:17 pm

Squad retained lists, transfers, accounts, kit supplier, contracts and more – there’s a huge air of uncertainty about the Magpies at present, and that’s without even talking about the ownership situation.

With all that in mind, Steve Bruce will already be shaping his squad ready for next season, as challenging as that may be.

Here’s a look at the state of play for every player in the United squad.

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Players of Newcastle United applaud fans after the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Sheffield United at St. James Park on May 19, 2021 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. A limited number of fans will be allowed into Premier League stadiums as Coronavirus restrictions begin to ease in the UK. (Photo by Carl Recine - Pool/Getty Images)

Martin Dubravka

Set to start the Premier League season as Newcastle United’s No.1.

An impressive Euros campaign with Slovakia was sadly closed up with a horror show of a performance against Spain in the final group game.

He’s bounced back before and will do so again.

Karl Darlow

This summer looked like it could see Darlow exit but no move talk has materialised so far this summer.

Will be understandably frustrated with having to sit back on the bench, having performed so well when Dubravka was out. However, the experience will be nothing new for the former Nottingham Forest goalie.

Mark Gillespie

Is United’s No.3 when it comes to keepers and that situation is unlikely to change.

Freddie Woodman

Lots of talk about the player coming back to United to challenge for the No,1 jersey, however it does maybe feel like a season too early.

The ideal scenario would have been for Swansea to retain Woodman after promotion and get some Premier League experience under his belt, but a play-off final loss put an end to those plans.

Most likely to leave on loan again, although a sale cannot be discounted.

Javier Manquillo

Fell out of favour with Bruce towards the back end of last season, after a patchy, injury-filled campaign.

A useful wing-back and full-back, the Spaniard was United’s most improved in Bruce’s first season. Likely to remain.

Jacob Murphy

Cemented his place in the United squad last season with some strong, mature performances. Needed to, as the exit door was calling.

Now though, despite the links away, there are few players more secure in the squad – and a new contract announcement is on the way.

Emil Krafth

It’s fair to say the defender has not had the best of times on Tyneside, however added some value to the squad at the back end of the campaign with some solid shows on the right of the back three.

Spoken recently of his want to remain, and expectation too, so an exit looks unlikely, even though one was explored in January just gone.

Jamal Lewis

Last season was a learning curve for the former Norwich City man – and better things will be expected in his second season at Newcastle.

Some defensive coaching required, but there is a real player in there, particularly in an attacking sense.

Matt Ritchie

This really is one to watch this summer, with Ritchie pushing for an exit in each of the last two windows.

Can a deal finally be agreed for his exit? Bournemouth will have to meet United’s financial demands for a start.

His competitive energy will be a big loss to the United squad, if he does indeed depart.

Paul Dummett

An extended short-term deal could be followed by a slightly improved longer-term one this summer. A key part of the manager’s plans.

Jamaal Lascelles

Club captain and that’s the way it’s likely to stay moving forward. Has proven to be a more than worthy leader of United – and a move away this summer seems unthinkable, although far from impossible, as we all know.

Ciaran Clark

An interesting situation. Only recently penned a new deal but is a player who is likely to be on the fringes of the first-team.

But, it’s fair to say, that’s been Clark’s default position since he signed.

A solid performer but if games don’t come his way, could be eased out the backdoor later in the campaign. A lot of that may depend on whether Bruce gets the defender or two he’s looking to sign.

Fabian Schar

Interest from the Bundesliga is real – and an option the player is thought to be open to.

Was close to a January exit, with AS Roma taking a look at him, but nothing materialised.

Has seen his United deal extended by a year but that doesn’t mean the player will remain.

Federico Fernandez

Massive question marks over the player’s future – and this has to be at the top of Bruce’s ‘to do’ list given how good the Argentine has been for his manager.

Talks about a new deal have progressed but nothing is yet signed and sealed.

Florian Lejeune

The Frenchman’s time at United looks to be done. Bruce isn’t the biggest fan of the player and a summer exit looks the most likely outcome after a loan departure last.

Kelland Watts

A loan deal is on the cards for the young defender who impressed while out at Plymouth Argyle last season.

Is he ready for a Championship move? Only time will tell.

Isaac Hayden

Back from injury, Hayden will be a welcome addition back in the United midfield ranks.

Talk of the player leaving, which seemed to come around every window, has dissipated with his recent contract extension.

Jonjo Shelvey

A new deal not that long back. Looks set to hang around for a lot longer than many fans want him to.

If he plays like he did at the back end of last season, he can build some bridges with the fanbase.

Sean Longstaff

Is due a new contract. The one he’s on massively under values his standing within the United squad.

A fit and confident Longstaff is a positive influence on the Newcastle midfield group but needs to find some consistency.

Matty Longstaff

A new deal and a loan? Certainly seems to be pointing that way. And that kind of move would definitely benefit the player who needs to be sharpening his tools at his age, not wasting more valuable time not playing.

Jeff Hendrick

A free transfer who arrived with little expectation and delivered even less. There must be a feeling of regret the player was signed on a decent length, expensive contract.

Should an offer come in, you’d imagine United would consider it, but one is not expected.

His experience is valued to an extent by Bruce.

Allan Saint-Maximin

Another linked with a United exit, but it would take a huge offer to turn the Magpies hierarchy’s heads and sanction a sale.

There is a feeling the Frenchman will give it one more year on Tyneside before pushing for a move to a more ambitious outfit. And who could blame him?

Miguel Almiron

A sparkling Copa America campaign will no doubt have Almiron’s agent making very public exit noises in the not too distant future but the truth of the matter is United want to hang on to the player they paid around £16m for just a few years ago.

They do, however, need to find a way of getting the best out of him. A more advanced role may be in the offing.

Is likely to miss much of the club’s pre-season campaign due to international commitments.

Ryan Fraser

A loss of form and lack of fitness from Fraser saw him ranked as one of the most disappointing campaigners last season by most NUFC fans.

Big improvements needed. And with a rest and a proper pre-season, hopefully uninterrupted by injury, under his belt the Scotland international will have no excuses.

In his defence, has missed the last two pre-seasons, although the last one was largely self-inflicted. Any pro will tell you, miss the hard yards of the summer and you’re always playing ‘catch up’.

Elliot Anderson

A massive season for the player’s development.

Having spent a season training with the first-team is unlikely to benefit from a return to the under-23s.

A loan deal would suit all parties. Interest from Luton Town remains.

Callum Wilson

Not much to say on this one, United’s best forward and a massive part of the club’s plans. Just need to keep him fit.

Spurs were keen last season, looking at Wilson as a Kane back up. Might be interest again if the England man heads to Manchester City.


In January, the big Brazilian may have been at risk of a summer exit but a strong end to the campaign saw Joelinton add some value to the United squad.

Having seemingly got up to speed with the English game and the physicality, hopefully the upwards trajectory continues.

Dwight Gayle

The Premier League revealed the player’s contract status even before the club did. Gayle is contracted to United for next season and seemingly a part of Bruce’s squad.

Whether the player will be happy to play second fiddle again is not known – he was unhappy last season – and whether he is seen by Bruce as a worthy Wilson back up is also up in the air.

West Brom and Fulham have shown an interest.

Andy Carroll

The most bizarre of situations. Carroll was a key man in the United dressing-room last season, but was barely used as a player, despite being fully fit for much of the campaign.

If he wants to remain, it’s likely a place will be found in the squad, although he was listed as a player released by the club by the Premier League.

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