Amanda Staveley targets Joelinton deal at Newcastle in first move since Dan Ashworth exit

Joelinton portrait

Newcastle United are edging closer to agreeing a new contract with midfielder Joelinton in what would be a huge boost to the club ahead of the summer window.

Joelinton will enter the final year of his existing deal at the end of the season and manager Eddie Howe has made keeping the Brazil international his first priority before drawing up any sort of shortlist for potential new signings.

In a significant development, co-owner Amanda Staveley has taken charge of the negotiations, having already managed to persuade Bruno Guimaraes to sign a new long-term deal last year.

Like Joelinton, Bruno’s representatives had also initially shown a reluctance to sign an extension but the negotiations were productive in the end, the player dealing directly with Staveley.

With Dan Ashworth on gardening leave until the end of next year, Newcastle’s board have handed responsibility for the talks to Staveley, who is also busy negotiating with Manchester United over a compensation package that would allow Ashworth to exit his stipulated period of gardening leave early. Telegraph Sport revealed last month that Newcastle are seeking compensation of around £20 million but Manchester United are trying to lower that sum.

Newcastle are adamant that Ashworth should not be allowed to play any role in Manchester United’s summer recruitment, but could be willing to let him start before the end of this year as long as their Premier League rivals are willing to pay the right money for this to happen.

It had been feared under Ashworth that Joelinton would refuse to sign a new deal as he was unhappy with the terms on offer, but there has been some progress made since Ashworth told the club he wanted to leave for Manchester United more than a fortnight ago.

Joelinton, 27, has become a key player under Howe, who converted him from a misfiring centre-forward into one of the most dynamic and physical box-to-box midfielders in the Premier League.

Instead of focusing on potential replacements, Newcastle are currently working on the proviso that Joelinton does not need to be sold which suggests they are confident a new contract can be agreed.

In more good news, the former Hoffenheim star, who at £40 million was the club’s record signing under former owner Mike Ashley back in the summer of 2019, is also expected to play again this season after surgery on a tendon in his groin in January.

Sources close to the player have told Telegraph Sport that he would like to stay on Tyneside and his rehabilitation is going to plan.

Joelinton is looking to become one of the club’s top earners on more than £180,000-a week but there is a growing optimism that a deal can be struck as Newcastle have indicated they are willing to give him that sort of financial status. Talks will continue with the hope of announcing the new deal before May.