Where will Jack Colback go this summer?
Background photo: Ardfern, CC BY-SA 3.0
Jack Colback's future becomes uncertain at season's end. After falling down the pecking order at Newcastle United, he joined Nottingham Forest on loan this campaign with the option to join permanently in June. Forest manager Martin O’Neill is desperate to keep the 29-year-old. He’s been a standout performer at the City Ground but growing interest from suitors and the Reds’ failure to earn promotion might lead the midfielder to consider his options.
Expected to leave Newcastle
Colback has one year remaining on his deal at St James’ Park. He’s openly said he doesn’t expect to stay at St James' Park. After falling out of favour under Rafael Benitez, he doesn't anticipate a reprieve with the Spaniard in charge.
If the midfielder didn’t have such a bad relationship with Benitez, he could remain in the North East. Isaac Hayden wants out this summer to move closer to his family. Mohamed Diame threatened to leave without a contract extension. Colback could fill that potential void.
The ball-winner made 102 appearances in all competitions for the Magpies since joining from Sunderland in 2014 but spent the last year-and-a-half on loan. He hasn’t featured for Toon since May 2017.
In the last two years, Colback impressed at Forest, became a fan-favourite and recently said he’d be open to staying.
A deal between the two clubs is now the next step. Mark Douglas reported in the Chronicle that Newcastle attached a £2 million asking price. Colback's reported £35,000/week wages wouldn't break the Forest bank. It’s just a question of whether Colback is willing to see his career out in the East Midlands. He’ll turn 30 in October. This could be the last deal he signs.
Are Forest an attractive proposition?
Forest’s form fell off the cliff in 2019. The Reds won just eight league games in the last five months. They’re set to finish someway short of the top six which may be a deal-breaker for Colback. The Englishman's sights were set on the Premier League when he re-joined the club last summer.
To get promotion is one of the reasons I came back.
Does he believe Forest can go up next season? Or is he just happy at the City Ground regardless?
Colback has been in fantastic form since returning to the club and may be content being a regular in the starting eleven. Forest win more games than they lose each season and have some talented individuals. They are an attractive club. It’s nevertheless a big call permanently leaving a Premier League side for the Championship.
Other Championship sides may eye the redhead this summer. Only Massimo Luongo (123) and Joe Allen (121) made more tackles than Colback's 120. He racked up interceptions, too, with 55. A fantastic ball-winner who boasts an 87% pass completion ratio, why wouldn’t other clubs take an interest?
Forest retains first refusal as per the terms of the loan contract but if Colback receives a better offer elsewhere, he’s within his rights to accept. Failing to sign the midfielder would be a big blow to Forest. It also wouldn’t be a surprise. When June arrives, he may not be able to see the Tricky Trees for the suitors.