Newcastle: 'Very strong possibility' 129-game ace will leave St James' Park

Newcastle United outcast Ciaran Clark is likely to have already made his final Magpies appearance as there is a ‘very strong possibility’ he will leave St James’ Park in the summer, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.

The Tynesiders became the world’s richest football club after the Saudi Arabia-based Public Investment Fund led a £305million takeover last October, but that injection of cash has not played into Clark’s hands.

What’s the latest news involving Clark?

Clark has not featured in a competitive fixture since coming on as a substitute in Newcastle’s win at Leeds United in January.

The central defender is not in contention until the end of the season after being left out of the Magpies’ 25-man squad by head coach Eddie Howe.

That setback came a matter of days after Clark was sent off for punching an opponent during a January friendly in Saudi Arabia.

Clark was offered a way out of St James’ Park during the final hours of the winter window, but he is understood to have snubbed a loan move to Championship side Middlesbrough.

Uncertainty over Clark’s long-term future remains as he will enter the final 12 months of his £42,000-per-week contract at the end of the campaign.

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What has Pete O’Rourke said about Clark?

O’Rourke believes Clark’s days at Newcastle are numbered as he will leave St James’ Park when the transfer window reopens.

The journalist understands the centre-half does not feature in Howe’s long-term plans as he continues to put his stamp on the side he inherited following his appointment last November.

O’Rourke told GIVEMESPORT: “I’d say there is a very strong possibility that Ciaran Clark will be on the move. Obviously, he was left out of the revised 25-man squad after the January transfer window.

“He turned down a potential loan move away from Newcastle on deadline day as well.”

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Why has Clark fallen down the pecking order?

Clark has made 129 appearances since joining Newcastle in a £5million deal from Aston Villa close to six years ago.

But Howe took advantage of the January transfer window by spending more money than any other European club.

Among those to head to Tyneside was Dan Burn, who completed a £13million switch from Brighton & Hove Albion.

That means Howe now has five central defenders at his disposal and Burn’s acquisition has only plunged 35-cap Republic of Ireland international Clark further down the pecking order at St James’ Park.

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