Newcastle: Deal over 69-cap star 'more vital than Shelvey contract'

Newcastle United should prioritise handing a new long-term contract to Fabian Schar over negotiating fresh terms with Jonjo Shelvey, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.

An upturn in form, which has seen the Magpies win four of their last five fixtures, has allowed Eddie Howe’s side to climb four points clear of the Premier League’s relegation zone.

What’s the latest news involving Schar and Shelvey?

The Telegraph have revealed Schar and Shelvey are set to be offered new contracts at St James’ Park.

The report suggests their prominence since Howe’s appointment as Steve Bruce’s successor in November has made negotiations a priority.

Schar’s current deal, worth £47,000-per-week, expires at the end of June and that has led to interest from other clubs.

According to MailOnline, Napoli were keen on acquiring the central defender during the January transfer window, while AC Milan, Sevilla, Valencia and Premier League sides have also set their sights on securing Schar’s signature.

Meanwhile, Shelvey has entered the final 18 months of his £70,000-per-week agreement on Tyneside and his value will decrease if Newcastle fail to agree fresh terms with the 30-year-old midfielder.

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What has Pete O’Rourke said about Schar and Shelvey?

O’Rourke has warned the Saudi Arabia-based Public Investment Fund that negotiating a new contract with Schar is of more importance than tying Shelvey down to an extended deal.

The journalist feels Newcastle would suffer a major blow if 69-cap Switzerland international Schar were to depart without the Magpies claiming a fee.

O’Rourke told GIVEMESPORT: “Fabian Schar is more vital than Shelvey to sort out right now. He’s out of contract in the summer.

“You probably don’t want to lose players with Schar’s versatility and experience on a free transfer.”

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Why is keeping Schar and Shelvey important to Howe?

Schar has racked up 90 appearances since Newcastle activated the £3million release clause in his Deportivo La Coruna contract in 2018.

The 30-year-old has failed to miss a single minute of Newcastle’s last six Premier League fixtures and Howe has admitted to being an ‘admirer’ of the central defender for some time.

Shelvey, meanwhile, has donned a Magpies shirt 190 times and been a regular starter since Howe’s appointment, even captaining the side in their last two outings.

In fact, he has kept £40million January signing Bruno Guimaraes out of the first XI since his big-money move.

As a result, it is clear to see Schar and Shelvey have quickly become vital members of Howe’s preferred starting line-up.

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