The 29-year-old, who Waugh claims is on about £40,000-a-week, was omitted from Steve Bruce’s Premier League squad for the new campaign, and while he can still feature in the Carabao Cup, a summer exit has always seemed more likely.
But writing in a piece for the Athletic, Waugh has outlined the predicament facing Colback.
He said: “He once again finds himself facing a bizarre and frustrating state of limbo.
“Premier League and Championship clubs cannot sign him given the decision by English football’s top two divisions to unilaterally cease trading on August 8 while sources suggest Colback is not overly keen on securing a move abroad, despite most European windows remaining open until September 2.
“A move to League One or League Two is out of the question too, given that he is on roughly £40,000 a week at Newcastle and is of too high a calibre for the third and fourth tiers.
“There has been reported interest from Scotland and, at this stage, if Colback is to depart on loan, then a move north of the border appears his most likely destination. However, there remains a decent chance that Colback could once again find himself devoid of first-team action for half a season at least.”
This is a real blow for Colback. It was one thing for him to be left out of Steve Bruce’s plans for the new season, but increasingly, with each passing day, it looks as if he isn’t going to get his move away from St. James’ Park either. Certainly, no deal as beneficial as the one that saw him move to Nottingham Forest for the past two years is likely to materialise, and unless one of the elite clubs in Scotland come knocking, then it is likely that Colback will find himself playing beneath his level, or not playing at all. He actually had a more than respectable season for Forest last year, averaging 3.2 tackles and 1.4 interceptions per match in the centre of midfield, as per Whoscored. The Magpies have a whole host of central midfielders, of course, but with Mo Diame leaving, Colback must have assumed he would be next in line to take his place in the Toon squad. Instead, he has been usurped by Matty Longstaff, and now, more than ever before, his future is way, way up in the air.