Fabian Schar is close to signing a new long-term deal at Newcastle United, according to TEAMtalk.
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Under Eddie Howe’s watch, the Swiss international has become a key player.
Starting 18 of the 19 games since the former Bournemouth manager replaced Steve Bruce in November, Schar’s importance to the side cannot be understated. No Newcastle defender averages more in the way of interceptions (1.4, per game, via WhoScored) or even as many key passes (0.3) and no one in the squad entirely averages as many passes per game (41.3).
Given Howe has spoken about potentially playing a more proactive brand of football in the future, the 30-year-old has certainly shown the tools to play a big part in that even if Newcastle sign another defender this summer.
Currently, his contract (believed to be worth in the region of £40k-per-week, via SpotRac) runs out at the end of the season but, earlier this week, the former Deportivo star admitted remaining at St James’ Park was his “first-choice” when speaking to The Chronicle.
Now, a long-term deal is thought to be close.
Previously, The Athletic have suggested the idea of a two-year extension had been floated.
Who else wanted to sign Schar?
The report reveals that Lille, Borussia Monchengladbach and Galatasaray were among those to have made contact with the player, who was able to talk to foreign clubs from January onwards on a potential free transfer.
Such interest appears to have been rejected and Newcastle could yet keep a player Howe wanted to sign even during his time in charge of Bournemouth.
What has been said about Schar’s form?
Speaking to Football Insider in March, pundit Noel Whelan claimed the defender was “unrecognisable” after his turnaround in form under Howe.
“There are so many Newcastle players who are unrecognisable under Eddie Howe and none more so than Fabian Schar,” he said.
“I’m stunned by the transformation. Earlier in the season, he was on the bench and couldn’t get in the team – now look at him. He’s playing brilliantly every week.
“I look at him and think, you’re making my team of the season if you play like that. His partnership with Dan Burn, who’s been a superb signing, has been critical to the turnaround.”