Newcastle are ‘keen to retain’ defender Federico Fernandez, whose contract expires this summer, according to The Athletic correspondent Chris Waugh.
Fernandez agreed a one-year extension to his deal back in March 2020, ensuring he would remain at the club for the Premier League’s restart.
Fernandez a valuable member of the Newcastle squad
The Argentine centre-back moved to St James’ Park from Swansea for a fee of £6m in 2018 and has gone on to rack up 74 appearances for the Magpies. The 32-year-old has also captained the Magpies on five occasions.
He was a regular during the first half of the current season, missing only one game due to pandemic protocols.
A thigh muscle strain kept him out of action from mid-January until the beginning of March, but he has returned to the bench for Newcastle’s last three Premier League fixtures.
Fernandez has averaged 1.5 tackles, 5.6 clearances and 1.9 successful aerial duels per 90 minutes this season (via WhoScored). His clearances average is better than anyone else in Steve Bruce’s squad, with Jamaal Lascelles a distant second on 4.4 (via WhoScored).
Will Fernandez accept a pay cut like Gayle?
According to Spotrac, he’s currently earning just over £47,000 a week on Tyneside, which makes him the club’s fifth-highest earner.
He may be expected to accept reduced terms in the manner of team-mate Dwight Gayle, who has already agreed a contract extension (via The Athletic).
Elsewhere, Waugh reported that Andy Carroll’s Newcastle stay could be prolonged despite scoring only one goal in the past two seasons.
Transfer Tavern verdict
On balance, it makes sense to retain an experienced Premier League defender in Fernandez rather than letting him walk away for free.
Newcastle don’t want to be spending what Waugh describes as a ‘limited budget’ on filling out their squad. They’ll focus what they have on the outstanding problem areas.
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