Newcastle Utd’s Shola Ameobi set for talks in pre-season

Newcastle's Shola Ameobi

Newcastle's Shola Ameobi

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LONG-serving Shola Ameobi is set for more talks over his Newcastle United future when he returns for pre-season training.

The striker is about to enter the last year of his contract at St James’s Park.

And United manager Alan Pardew has indicated he would be open to offering the 31-year-old an extension to his deal.

Ameobi and Pardew had a discussion about his future late last season.

The former England Under-21 international – frustrated at a lack of Premier League starts – is keen to play more games.

Ameobi started just four league fixtures – and 11 in total – last term as the club fought to stay in the division.

Papiss Demba Cisse was used as a lone forward for much of the season, with Ameobi, for the most part, having been used as an impact substitute.

He scored four times in all competitions, taking his career goal tally at the club to 46.

“I hope he wants to stay, but that’ll be his decision,” said Pardew.

For his part, Ameobi – who has been a first-team regular at Newcastle for the past 13 seasons – hinted at his keenness for a bigger role.

“I’ve always said as long as I’m wanted here, I’ll be a Newcastle United player,” he said in response to Pardew’s comments.

With the club looking to bring another striker to St James’s Park this summer, it is unlikely that Ameobi will get the assurances he wants from Pardew.

And if Ameobi does leave United, it will be reluctantly, such is his affection for the club he supported as a boy after moving to Newcastle from Nigeria.

Meanwhile, the bulk of Pardew players are due back on Tyneside early next month for the start of pre-season training.

Those involved in summer internationals, among them Yohan Cabaye, Fabricio Coloccini and Cheik Tiote, will return later in the month.