Newcastle manager Eddie Howe has claimed that star midfielder Joelinton may have played his final game for the club. The Brazilian recently underwent surgery to repair a nagging groin injury. The setback may force the midfielder to miss the remainder of the current campaign. There is, however, a slim chance that Joelinton could enter the fray once again at the end of the season.

Nevertheless, Howe admitted on Friday that the club could be forced to sell the star in the summer transfer window. Joelinton’s current contract is set to expire in June of 2025 and the club may opt to capitalize on a transfer, rather than watch the player leave for free next year.

Magpies CEO Darren Eales recently revealed that the club will likely have to sell a key player or two this summer. The move comes down to easing Financial Fair Play (FFP) restrictions. Newcastle has spent heavily since the Saudi Arabian owners took over the team in late 2021.

Coach wants Joelinton to stay, but injury may force early final game at Newcastle

Howe addressed a series of topics in his press conference on Friday. However, the news regarding Joelinton was a crucial aspect of the conversation. The Newcastle manager claimed that he wants the midfielder to sign a new deal with the team, but the decision is not solely his.

“[Joelinton] has 18 months left on his contract so it’s a possibility he’ll be sold in the summer,” stated Howe. “Again, as his manager, I’m determined for him to stay. I love him as a person and as a player, so it would be my wish that he signs a long-term contract. Of course, there is more to it than that. There’s Joe’s wishes and what he wants and before he signs a contract, he has to be entirely happy with everything and we are not at that stage yet.”

Howe’s comments suggest that Joelinton may be asking for an improved contract. Despite spending freely on transfers, the Magpies still have a modest wage scale. Only three players currently make more than $125,000 per week. Joelinton is not one of these lucky players. The midfielder currently rakes in around $108,000 each week to play for Newcastle.

The Brazilian could also be looking for a move to a bigger club. While he is historically a center forward, Joelinton has recently been deployed as a central midfielder in recent seasons. Despite the switch, he has excelled at the position. Although it remains to be seen how much the Magpies could get for selling the star, Transfermarkt currently values Joelinton at about $45 million.

Three other Newcastle stars linked with moves as well

The midfielder may not exactly be the only Newcastle star to soon depart the club. Kieran Trippier, Callum Wilson, and Miguel Almiron have all been linked with potential moves away from the northeast.

The Magpies recently rejected a bid from Bayern Munich for Trippier. As a result, the German giants have moved on to other targets at the right-back position. Wilson has been linked with a plethora of teams looking for a striker at some point this month. On the other hand, Saudi side Al-Shabab reportedly wants to grab Almiron as well.

Nevertheless, Howe claimed on Friday that he wants all of these key players to remain with the club. Newcastle currently finds themselves sitting 10th in the Premier League table and needs all the help they can get to qualify for a European place.