Newcastle news: Eddie Howe favourite closing in on new deal after late summer failure to strengthen key position

Sven Botman, Dan Burn, Fabian Schar and Kieran Trippier of Newcastle

Reports claim Newcastle United are on the cusp of offering veteran defender Fabian Schar a new contract at St James’ Park.

The 31-year-old has been with the Magpies since July 2018 when they paid Deportivo La Coruna around £3m for his services. And it was certainly money well spent as the Switzerland international has enjoyed 144 outings in all competitions. The former Basel star was instrumental in Newcastle’s stunning 2022-2023 campaign when they finished fourth.

He started 36 of the club’s 38 top-flight matches, forming a superb rearguard partnership with Sven Botman.

The centre-back inked a contract extension in April 2022 but is set to fall out of contract at the end of the current season.

And, according to Football Insider, Eddie Howe is eager to secure the future of the ex-Hoffenheim stopper.

The Tynesiders chief labelled Schar ‘the ultimate professional’ when he extended his contract last year.

And with a return to Champions League action imminent, Newcastle United need his experience to anchor their defence.

Botman has been struggling with injury, with Dan Burn moving from left-back into central defence. And so Schar’s presence in the side is as vital as ever.

There were rumours that Howe might be thinking about moving him on.

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And recent reports suggest the north-east outfit did try to sign Crystal Palace star Joachim Andersen with a £30m bid before the transfer deadline.

That deal failed to materialise and so Howe will go with what he has for the group stage of Europe’s elite club competition.

Schar loving the Newcastle life

Newcastle’s Saudi-backed takeover spawned rumours of any number of players coming to the club.

Recruitment has generally been good, with Sandro Tonali, Harvey Barnes and Tino Livramento arriving in the summer.

Schar was one of the players who possibly looked vulnerable to an exit but the latest news suggests he is unlikely to be going anywhere.

Much will depend on whether terms on a new contract can be agreed. But, back in March, he made it clear where his priorities remain.

“I can well imagine staying at Newcastle beyond the summer,” he told SRF in Switzerland.

“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.”

Schar picked up a knock during Newcastle’s 3-1 loss at Brighton last time out.

However, it does not seem too serious as he did report for international duty with Switzerland.

Howe needs as many fit players as possible after a shaky start to the season.

The Magpies have just three points from four games after losing three consecutive top-flight games.

However, they have played both Manchester City and Liverpool in what was always going to be a testing opening to 2023-2024.

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