Newcastle United midfielder Ki Sung-yueng could be sold in the January transfer window if the club can find a replacement for him, according to the Shields Gazette.
The newspaper claims that the South Korean international’s contract is up at the end of the season, and so the Magpies may want to secure some cash for him while they still can.
However, they won’t want to let the 30-year-old leave without securing a replacement, and if that doesn’t happen then he likely won’t depart.
The former Swansea City man arrived at the club during the summer of 2018, but the Gazette’s report states that head coach Steve Bruce isn’t a fan, which is why Ki is the first name to drop out of the match day squad when everyone is fully fit.
It wouldn’t be the biggest shock in the world if Ki left come January. He’s never truly been a first choice central midfielder while at St James’ Park and, while he had a good spell before Asian Cup duty last term, he’s never really put a sustained run of fine form together. He’s a solid Premier League performer, but he’s a long way from being integral to this Newcastle team. Bruce clearly isn’t enamoured by him, we’ve seen that much so far this campaign, and so if he feels he can get a decent replacement in then it would be no surprise to see the South Korean make way. He’s out of contract next summer and so January represents the last chance for the Magpies to get some money back for him before he departs for free. Ultimately it just comes down to whether Bruce is sick of Ki enough to go out and find a replacement and, if so, he can find someone of good enough quality who is affordable. That’s the challenge, here, but if Bruce can get the job done then Ki may well be off in a few month’s time.