By Noel Whelan

19th Dec, 2020 | 10:17am

Pundit Exclusive: Newcastle backed to save £30m with 2-year contract for big 'Talent'

Noel Whelan has claimed Newcastle United could save as much as £30million in transfer fees by handing Ciaran Clark a new contract.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Premier League striker has suggested giving the 31-year-old a two-year deal should be a no brainer for the Magpies after his re-emergence as a first-team star this season.

The Republic of Ireland international penned a five-year contract when he arrived at St James’ Park back in 2016, meaning he will become a free agent next summer if the Magpies do not tie him down to a new deal.

Clark appeared to have fallen down the pecking order on Tyneside, having not featured in the club’s opening eight league games, but he has since played every minute of the last four under Steve Bruce.

Having watched the defender in person in the 5-2 defeat to Leeds, Whelan has insisted there should be little doubt that Newcastle should be tying the former Aston Villa man down for at least another two seasons.

Whelan told Football Insider: “He’s been out touch for a while and he’s now come back into the squad, he’s a competitor, we know that, we saw it way back, years back, when he started playing for Newcastle.

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“You know he’s one that will give you 100 per cent, he’s good on the ball – at times, at the right times during that game (v Leeds) he drove out with the ball, he started attacks off, at one point I think he’s gone from his own edge of the box to Leeds’ edge of the box to make things happen.

“He’s definitely got that desire, that passion, to play for the football club and he’s definitely got the talent still. You know, he’s one player that you don’t really want to lose because when you see him play like that, you’d very easily give him a two-year contract.

“They don’t have a million and one options, you’re gonna get injuries, it’s a tough, full season and if you go out there and go for other defenders, you’re talking into the £20-30million bracket.

“Look, he’s done very, very well, he gives you everything and that’s all you want as a manager, to see player put everything out there on the field and he’s definitely one of those kind of people.”

In other news, ‘Shocking’ Newcastle United star compared to Leeds United flop after awful performance at Elland Road.