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Fabian Schar: Newcastle United defender may snub contract extension

Steve Bruce should urge the Newcastle United hierarchy to agree on a new contract with Fabian Schar before this summer’s Euros amid widespread interest in the Swiss defender.

What’s the word?

According to Chronicle Live, Schar may turn down another year at St. James’ Park and look to leave the Magpies as a free agent this summer.

The 29-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season, but has the option to extend his current £40k-per-week terms by a further 12-months.

Does Schar deserve a new contract?

Yes, he was playing well

Yes, he was playing well

No, he isn't good enough

No, he isn't good enough

Interest has already started to build in the 48-cap international, with clubs across Europe – including from Italy’s Serie A and Spain’s La Liga – already being contacted to discuss any potential offers.

Schar may also hold off on putting pen to paper on new terms until after this summer’s postponed UEFA European Championship, knowing that a strong tournament would improve his chances of securing a more lucrative contract or a move away from Newcastle.

Bruce expects the defender will do all that he can to be fit to feature for Switzerland at Euro 2020, with Schar currently sidelined after sustaining knee ligament damage in the Magpies’ 3-2 win over Southampton earlier this month.

“He has an operation on his ligament and knee. He will try everything to get fit for the Euros. He had the op on Tuesday, and it is eight weeks,” Bruce said, via quotes by the Mirror, after the surgery.

The Southampton contest was Schar’s 13th start in 16 Premier League appearances, having missed the start of the season with a shoulder injury and later contracted coronavirus.

Should Newcastle retain Schar?

While Schar is likely to miss a majority of the remainder of the 2020/21 season through injury, if not all, Bruce should be pushing the Newcastle hierarchy to wrap up negotiations to retain Schar as soon as possible.

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United can ill-afford to go into the summer window without having Schar’s services locked down with the centre-half one of several soon-to-be free-agents, while Bruce also expects to have little – if any – funds to work with in the next transfer market.

The £12m-rated Switzerland star, who the Toon signed from La Liga outfit Deportivo de La Coruna in 2018 after activating his £3m release clause, had also begun to prove his place in Bruce’s backline again in the weeks before his injury.

Schar averaged a 6.9 WhoScored match rating over his last three injury-free appearances, above a 6.44 average for the season, thanks to a 7.29 rating in January’s 2-0 win at Everton and a 7.26 in defeat to Leeds United.

Only once before the Whites visited St. James’ Park had the 29-year-old scored above 7.0, coming in December’s draw with Liverpool, when he earned a 7.53 after helping to hold the defending Premier League champions to a scoreless result.

He further registered single-game highs for the season with three successful tackles against Southampton, 12 clearances against Liverpool and five interceptions against both Manchester clubs.

Isaac Hayden boasts the best per game average for Newcastle players fielded at centre-back this term for successful tackles (2.8) and interceptions (2) – with Schar (1.6) second – while Federico Fernandez tops the charts for clearances (5.6) and holds a superior WhoScored rating at 6.57 for the season.

Fernandez is also one of the other options whose contracts are up in the summer, making it vital that Newcastle do not let their centre-back depth dwindle by waiting too long to secure Schar’s future.

AND in other news, Newcastle are facing a dilemma over the future of a £40k-p/w ace set to be the subject of a tempting offer

Article title: Fabian Schar: Newcastle United defender may snub contract extension

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