Benitez makes stunning claim on future of reported £40,000-a-week Newcastle player

By Danny Wright

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has stunningly claimed that he would rather use defender Chancel Mbemba in midfield over outcast Jack Colback.

Colback, 28, appears to have no future at St. James’ Park after being completely axed from the first-team squad with him not making a single appearance this season.

Benitez has made it clear that he has plenty of options in his midfield ahead of Colback and he now deems the ex-Sunderland midfielder as surplus to requirements as he continues to be frozen out by the Spanish boss.

“He knew from the beginning that we have four or five midfielders and I didn’t want to have six,” said Benitez about Colback, as quoted by the Daily Mail.

“You can’t train as well with so many players around in the same position. I didn’t want that. If we need anything else, we can also play Mbemba. He played there in the Africa Cup of Nations.”

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Colback has been on the books at St. James’ Park since his controversial 2014 switch from bitter rivals Sunderland and has since made 102 appearances across all competitions.

The Daily Mail claims that the midfield enforcer is earning £40,000-a-week on his current deal, a staggering amount of money to be wasting each week on a player who is nowhere near the first-team plans.

It remains to be seen what Newcastle will try to do with Colback in the immediate future.

His contract doesn’t expire until the end of next season and with such high wages, it may be hard for them to sell him on as soon as January.

In other Newcastle United news, Benitez has detailed an injury update about Mikel Merino.

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