The Chronicle‘s Mark Douglas has suggested Newcastle United may try and find an agreement with Henri Saivet to call-short the midfielder’s time at St. James’ Park.
Saivet joined the Magpies in 2016 from Ligue 1 side FC Girondins de Bordeaux as he became Steve McClaren’s first purchase of the winter market, putting pen to paper on a £35,000-a-week (Spotrac) five-and-a-half-year contract, in a deal worth around £5million (The Guardian).
Since his arrival on Tyneside, Saivet has made just eight appearances for the Newcastle first-team (TransferMarkt), with the Senegal international soon falling out of favour at St. James’ Park under McClaren, never favoured by Rafa Benitez and overlooked by Steve Bruce.
Managers looking elsewhere to pack their engine rooms has led to Saivet suffering through years in exile and a last Premier League outing coming in December 2017, along with two outings in the 2018 FA Cup and one appearance in the Carabao Cup.
Loan spells with Turkish sides Sivasspor and Bursaspor have failed to ignite a new beginning for the 28-year-old, either, with Bursaspor’s relegation ensuring they could not take up their option to buy (Chronicle) the 24-cap international this summer.
Douglas now expects Newcastle to begin questioning where to go next with Saivet’s future as he has two years remaining on his lucrative contract, dubbing him potentially the Magpies’ most expensive mistake in recent years.
“He’s another on big money with a contract until 2021, and might just be the most expensive mistake of recent times at St. James’ Park,” he said. “Bruce is the third manager who has taken a look and decided he’s not for him so who knows, United might try and come to an agreement [to cancel his contract].”
Newcastle reaching an agreement with Saivet to cut short his spell in the North East two years early could help the Magpies further down the line, as it would free his lofty wage from the club’s weekly bill. Doing so would not be cheap, however, as the 28-year-old is due at least £3million in wages before he would otherwise become a free agent.
Life in United’s reserves may tempt the outcast midfielder to accept a lower lump sum so that he can secure a move elsewhere as soon as possible, though, as Saivet was a regular for Senegal during their Africa Cup of Nations run to the Final this summer, featuring in all bar the opening Group Stage game (TransferMarkt).
Regaining his place in Aliou Cisse’s squad could be all the encouragement he needs to draw a line under what must have been an uncomfortable period of his career.
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