Newcastle boost as Serie A-linked star insists his ‘priority’ is to agree a new contract

Fabian Schar, Allan Saint-Maximin, Newcastle celebrate after goal v Watford at St James' Park

Newcastle United have been handed a boost after centre-back Fabian Schar insisted the club is his ‘priority’, despite transfer links with Serie A.

Schar’s contract expires on June 30, meaning he can leave St James’ Park on a free transfer once the summer window gets up and running. Uncertainty over his future has led to interest from both Italy and rivals in England.

According to a report from the Daily Mail, Schar is a target for several Premier League clubs. However, they do not go as far as revealing the teams which hold an interest.

It is a different story for the Italian clubs, as AC Milan and Napoli have set their sights on the defender.

Newcastle are aware of the rumours and began contract discussions with Schar in February, as per The Telegraph.

Following a potential agreement with the Switzerland international, they want to tie down team-mate Jonjo Shelvey.

Schar has now made an admission about his future, and it is good news for Eddie Howe.

Fabian Schar ‘comfortable’ at Newcastle

During an interview with Swiss outlet SRF (via Sport Witness), the 30-year-old said: “Everyone at the club knows how comfortable I feel in this team and under this coach.

“I can well imagine staying at Newcastle beyond the summer. It wasn’t always like that; things weren’t always very happy for me under the old owner.

“The next few weeks will show how things will go for me. Newcastle are certainly my priority.”

Fabian Schar, Jonjo Shelvey of Newcastle

Schar did not have the best time under Steve Bruce and Mike Ashley. He was one of several players who underperformed during their tenure at the club.

But Schar is enjoying a new lease of life with Howe at the helm. He is forming a solid centre-back partnership with recent arrival Dan Burn, which is even keeping skipper Jamaal Lascelles out of the starting eleven.

Newcastle suffer Diego Carlos setback

Meanwhile, Newcastle have been handed a significant blow in their attempts to sign Diego Carlos from Sevilla, according to a report.

On Tuesday, we reported on Carlos’ contract extension at Sevilla. Their sporting director, Monchi, said: “We’ve renewed [the contracts of] Diego Carlos and [Lucas] Ocampos 14 months ago. We didn’t announce it for strategic reasons.”

Goal add to this by claiming Carlos’ release clause was increased as part of the new deal. While he was available for around £30million in January, it will now cost Newcastle €80m (£67m) to complete a deal.

It’s a clever transfer tactic from the Spanish club. Clearly, they did not want other teams to know that their player’s future had been sorted out.

Newcastle must now decide if they want to go big by matching Carlos’ huge release clause, or pursue other targets – such as Barcelona’s Clement Lenglet.

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