Newcastle United defender’s future in doubt after shock EFL decision

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There is doubt over where the decision will leave the Magpies centre-back.

Newcastle United defender Ciaran Clark faces a nervous wait over his future after loan club Sheffield United were placed under a transfer embargo.

The Blades have been placed under restrictions after breaching FA rule 52.2.3, which relates to a default of payments to another club - although the EFL have not actually specified which club, player or transfer deal the punishment relates to.

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However, the decision to impose an embargo could jeopardise Clark’s hopes of securing a permanent move to Bramall Lane as he enters the final months of his current Magpies contract. The Republic of Ireland international joined the Championship club on a season-long loan in January and has impressed in South Yorkshire, despite suffering an injury-disrupted campaign.

Clark has made nine appearances in all competitions as Paul Heckingbottom’s side sit firmly in the race for promotion into the Premier League. With two automatic promotion places on offer, the Blades currently sit in second place and were 11 points clear of third placed Watford ahead of Friday night’s home game with Hull City.

A club statement released on Friday moved to reassure supporters they are working with the EFL and are still determined to secure a return to the top tier this season.

The statement read: “Club officials remain in constant dialogue with relevant stakeholders, with the aim of working to a resolution early next week. The club would like to thank the EFL for its assistance and taking into account a number of unique circumstances.

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Newcastle United defender Ciaran Clark was loaned to Sheffield United this summer.Newcastle United defender Ciaran Clark was loaned to Sheffield United this summer.
Newcastle United defender Ciaran Clark was loaned to Sheffield United this summer.

“The board of directors would like to assure supporters that promotion to the Premier League remains the primary objective this season and will continue to support Paul Heckingbottom and the team.”

The embargo does not necessarily mean a complete block on incoming deals, but any moves made by the Blades would not be able to register a new signing ‘without prior written consent of the league, until such time as the agreement is honoured.’

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