Newcastle United player withdraws from international friendly - set for summer transfer move

Newcastle United left-back Jamal Lewis. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)Newcastle United left-back Jamal Lewis. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Newcastle United left-back Jamal Lewis. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images) | Getty Images
Newcastle United are hoping to offload the defender this summer.

Newcastle United defender Jamal Lewis has been ruled out of Northern Ireland's friendly away to Romania on Friday evening.

Lewis - who is on loan at Championship side Watford - has been called up to Michael O'Neill's latest squad. And while he won't feature in the opening friendly, it is hoped the 26-year-old will be available to face Scotland at Hampden Park next Tuesday.

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The left-back has returned to Watford for treatment, while teammate Ross McCausland is receiving treatment at Rangers.

Newcastle United left-back Jamal Lewis. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)Newcastle United left-back Jamal Lewis. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Newcastle United left-back Jamal Lewis. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images) | Getty Images

O'Neill said: “Both Ross and Jamal have gone back to their clubs for treatment, but hopefully they will join up with us when we arrive in Scotland for the second game,” 

Newcastle are looking to offload Lewis permanently this summer after installing an option to buy clause when striking a season-long agreement with Watford last July.

Lewis has made 31 appearances for the Hornets this season, just five short of the total he's made for the Magpies since joining from Norwich City for £15million in 2020.

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He started four of Eddie Howe’s opening six games in charge before picking up a hamstring injury in December 2021 against Liverpool. Then, an ongoing groin problem contributed to Lewis being left out of United’s 25-man Premier League squad for the second half of that season.

Lewis was set to be handed a chance to impress in pre-season the following summer, however he didn't play a single minute due to a calf issue.

In total, Lewis played just nine minutes of Premier League football last term with his only start coming in the FA Cup third round exit to Sheffield Wednesday.

The former Luton Town youngster is under contract at St James' Park until 2025. Watford have first dibs on signing Lewis as Newcastle hope to get him off the wage bill and aid their summer transfer budget amid Premier League Profitability and Sustainability.

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