Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce has expressed his desires to see Jack Colback complete a January move away from St. James’ Park, as quoted by The Shields Gazette.
Colback was one of the many senior players omitted from Bruce’s first 25-man Premier League squad at Newcastle, but unlike Achraf Lazaar and Rolando Aarons, did not complete a temporary or permanent move away from Tyneside before the summer market slammed shut.
Colback has been ostracised from the Newcastle first-team on a playing sense for the past two years, having first been shunned by Rafa Benitez and told to train at the club’s academy base rather than with the senior fold.
Nottingham Forest signed the 29-year-old on loan in the following January, where he remained for the 2018/19 campaign and played 39 games for the Championship outfit across all competitions (TransferMarkt).
Bruce is now hopeful that keeping the Killingworth-born central midfielder around the senior fold in training will help the uncapped England international replicate this by securing a move away from Newcastle in January 2020, at which point he will have six months remaining on his £35,000-a-week (Spotrac) contract.
“The hardest thing for me was to pick the 25,” Bruce said, on leaving Colback out of his Premier League squad having worked with the midfielder at Sunderland. “I had only been here three weeks, and people like Jack, I had known a long time. It was very, very difficult. I saw him train [on Tuesday], and he trained very, very well.
“We’re disappointed that he didn’t get fixed up [with a move]. He’s not done anything wrong. It’s just we have to make that call with 22 outfield players, and unfortunately Jack along with Rolando and Achraf, they’re not part of it.
“It’s not their fault, so it’s vitally important they’re still part of the squad in terms of training every day, and it’s our responsibility to make sure that they stay fit, healthy and when the opportunity comes along for them, they’re able to take it.”
Colback was unable to secure a move away from Newcastle, as his lucrative contract was proving to be a major stumbling block in negotiations, with League One sides unable to match his wage demands.
Championship clubs will be able to hold negotiations with Colback come the turn of the year, though, and Newcastle will simply have to tout his services to any second-tier outfit that will listen if they are to earn any transfer fee for a midfielder who will be a free agent next summer.
The Toon do not really need to consider the 29-year-old as an option that can be re-introduced to the playing squad in January, given Bruce already has Sean Longstaff, Isaac Hayden, Jonjo Shelvey and Ki Sung-yueng to hand, while Matty Longstaff is now on the fringes of the first-team.
Newcastle fans, can Colback work his way into Bruce’s plans through impressing the Toon boss in training? Let us know in the comments below…Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more Newcastle notifications!