Newcastle United may not be able to permanently offload Yoshinori Muto to his Greek Super League suitor Aris Thessaloniki, according to The Athletic’s Chris Waugh.
Greek outlet Sportime reported on Sunday that Aris, who finished third last season, were in ‘advanced contacts’ with the player.
Newcastle paid £9.5million to sign Muto from Bundesliga outfit Mainz in 2018, committing him to a four-year contract.
He’s now into the final 12 months of the deal, having scored only five goals since for Newcastle and SD Eibar, where he spent 2020/21 on loan (via Transfermarkt).
Newcastle have trimmed four players from their squad so far this summer. Andy Carroll and Henri Saivet were released, Cristian Atsu sealed a move to Al-Raed and Florian Lejune joined Alaves for an undisclosed fee.
Waugh reports that ‘NUFC are hopeful’ of arranging the forward’s exit this summer after Aris expressed ‘concrete interest’.
Newcastle ‘ideally’ want to sell Muto, but Aris’ preference is a loan move, which would see his wages split.
They’re willing to cover around 40% of his roughly £50,000-per-week salary, leaving the Magpies to make up the rest themselves. There’s ‘optimism’ on their side that a deal can be reached.
Muto returned to training on Monday, but that doesn’t herald a change of heart from the club. He has ‘no future’ at St James’ Park.
It would be somewhat frustrating if Newcastle had to agree to a compromise here. While selling Muto probably wouldn’t have generated a big transfer fee given his contract situation and lean goal return, it would at least have cleared his substantial wages off the books.
Interest in Muto may not be plentiful, and so the Magpies may have to accept Aris’ proposal. If they were hoping to raise funds for incomings through sales, it seems they’re yet to make significant inroads.
In other news, could this midfielder arrive in addition to Willock?
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