Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey has reportedly held preliminary talks over a possible move to Turkish giants Besiktas.
The Magpies star has endured a frustrating season after suffering a hamstring injury in a pre-season friendly against Benfica. After making his comeback as a late substitute in the 2-1 win at Tottenham Hotspur in October, the former Liverpool midfielder was handed a first start of the campaign in the Carabao Cup third round tie with Crystal Palace two weeks later.
After making another cameo appearance in another Carabao Cup clash with Bournemouth, Shelvey suffered a calf injury that has kept him on the sidelines over the Christmas period and into the new year. Speaking ahead of last month’s home draw with Leeds United, Howe said of Shelvey: “He’s disappointed. He’s a passionate guy. He lives for football and the feeling of playing, showing his skills on a weekly basis.
“That’s a big driver and when he’s not able to do that it’s a big thing taken away from him. I saw him yesterday, and had a good chat with him. He’s a lot more positive now about the future, really focusing on the future. Although the time period is lengthy, it’s not a long-term injury. He can very quickly get into his rehab, start running again quite quickly. There’s a lot to be positive about.”
To compound Shelvey’s misery, his future on Tyneside remains under question and there have been suggestions Howe could allow the 30-year-old to depart if United receive a suitable offer. Turkish outlet Fanatik have claimed they see the midfielder as a way to improve the ‘lack of quality’ in their side and talks between the two parties have been described as ‘positive’.
Shelvey could replace one-time Magpies target Dele Alli, who has suffered an underwhelming spell in Turkey since moving to Besiktas on loan earlier this season.