Newcastle Transfer Focus – Ameobi hints at Newcastle exit

As Newcastle seemingly ready themselves to add strikers to their ranks current frontman Shola Ameobi has suggested it may be time to end his 13 year stay with the club, with the Nigeria international feeling first team football will be sparse at St James’ Park.

Having rose through the academy ranks with the Magpies, the Evening Chronicle and BBC Sport both report a clause in the strikers contract preventing him from playing international football is’ no longer in effect’. And this has only fuelled Ameobi’s desire to represent home country Nigeria at the next World Cup Finals in 2014.

Speaking to the Chronicle about his chances in the Nigeria national side, Ameobi said: “I have to get into this incredibly talented team, make sure I give my best, show my experience and make a significant contribution. I made my (Nigeria) debut at 31, now here I am and hopefully my experience will enable me to develop at this level.

Every player is looking to play at the World Cup. I think we have every chance of qualifying – but we must fight and earn the right to be there.

The powerful striker was wanted by Nigeria for last season’s Africa Cup of Nations but was blocked from joining up by the club due to their injury crisis. With the reported clause lifted it looks likely that Ameobi will consider his options. It is reported that possible suitors for the 31-year-old are Championship clubs Sheffield Wednesday and Middlesbrough.

Whether Ameobi does depart or not will remain to be seen, however another player leaving St James’ Park may start to worry Newcastle fans. So far controversial director of football Joe Kinnear has seen James Perch leave the club for Wigan, Danny Simpson for QPR, and Steve Harper on a free, while reported exits of Dan Gosling and Mike Williamson could come to fruition in the coming weeks. Couple this with potential sales of Ameobi and Steven Taylor, who has been told he is free to leave, and the Newcastle squad could become threadbare.

In addition to this the club missed out on top target Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang, and while Alan Pardew has confirmed interest in strikers Loic Remy and Darren Bent they are yet to recruit. With pre-season now under way fans will be hoping for singings in the next few weeks to bolster preparations for the new season.

A lack of signings may point to owner Mike Ashley’s desire to sign players that command higher sell-on fees. This could be seen to stall offers for the likes of Bent, while Kinnear seemingly blocked a move for free agent Douglas.

The Times reports that Newcastle are interested in Anderlecht defender Cheikhou Kouyate, who may catch the eye of Kinnear and Ashley. At only 23, it seems the Senegalese player would fit in to the club’s current policy, while also bringing Champions League experience to a defence needing much improvement from last season.

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