Newcastle United are seemingly looking to make further progress in trimming their wage bill.
What’s the story?
According to Ghana Web, the Magpies are finally looking to release Henri Saivet from his contract. Indeed, the 30-year-old has not been included in the club’s 25-man Premier League squad list, with Christian Atsu coming in instead for the second-half of the season.
Out of contract in the summer anyway, the report claims Newcastle are looking to find an agreement to terminate what remains of his deal at St. James’ Park as there has been no interest from other clubs given his £30k+ weekly wages.
How will it help?
In November, The Athletic revealed that the Senegal international was part of a cluster of rarely-used players costing Newcastle up to £5m on an annual basis. He, along with the likes of Atsu, recently-released Achraf Lazaar and the now sold duo of DeAndre Yedlin and Rolando Aarons, had barely featured collectively but were still being paid in full by the club.
So, with Lazaar gone and both Yedlin and Aarons sold in January, making more space on the wage bill could be a positive step ahead of the summer transfer window.
With Newcastle looking unlikely to recoup any of the reported £4.5m they paid for Saivet back in 2016, it’s hard to put even a slightly positive spin on his exit other than the fact they could at least get him off the wage bill sooner than expected.
In isolation, it barely seems like much of a win given how little time was left on his contract anyway but, taking a wider view, the club are finally moving on some of the deadwood costing a significant amount of money.