Newcastle United midfielder Isaac Hayden has insisted he is concentrating more on playing than contract talks at this moment in time.
The Magpies’ enforcer claimed it is important that he cements his spot back in the side after picking up a red card against Leicester City after he replaced the suspended Sean Longstaff against West Ham United on Saturday.
“At the minute, I’m just more focused on playing,” he told the Chronicle when asked about his future.
“At the end of the day, whenever you get a red card, the only thing on your mind is returning to the team or making a contribution in whatever way you can.”
Hayden was reported by the Chronicle journalist, Ciaran Kelly, earlier in October to have been encouraged by the summer transfer business of Steve Bruce, and that there should be no issues with him signing a new deal at St James’ Park.
The former Arsenal man was reported by Mark Douglas (11/09 16:04 pm) to be Newcastle’s top priority for a new deal in the summer and was leading the line of players to secure an extension.
The 24-year-old is indispensable to Newcastle in the heart of midfield and was one of the very few bright sparks during the tough run at the beginning of the season. It won’t be too much of a worry for Bruce and the Magpies given the latest update by the Chronicle, and the fact that he is likely to stay means contract talks shouldn’t drag on for too long when they eventually start. Hayden’s current deal runs for another two years, so there is no particular rush, although Newcastle have proved that they don’t like contracts going into their final years of important players. Hayden’s defensive strength has been imperative to the Magpies, with him averaging 3.1 tackles and 1.9 interceptions per game according to WhoScored – the most tackles in the entire squad, whereas only Fabian Schar is the only player to have completed more interceptions. Bruce will be keen to tie Hayden down to a new deal, but will not be panicking as of yet.