DANNY Simpson is out of Newcastle United’s final game of the season – and the defender could have kicked his last ball for the club.
Simpson has missed the last two matches with an ankle problem, and the injury will keep him out of Sunday’s visit to Goodison Park.
The 25-year-old wore a protective boot for the post-match lap of appreciation undertaken by United manager Alan Pardew and his players after Sunday’s last home game against Manchester City.
Simpson, out of contract in a year’s time, had been desperate to return to fitness in time to face Everton.
“He has a bad ankle – he’s got no chance for Everton,” Pardew said. “I think his chances are for next year now.”
Simpson, a Premier League and cup ever-present until this month’s visit to Chelsea, goes into the summer not knowing whether his future lies at the Sports Direct Arena, his home for the past three seasons.
The right-back has been involved in long-running talks over a new deal at Newcastle. Up to now, an agreement hasn’t been reached, and another round of negotiations are planned for the summer, with Simpson, among the club’s lower earners, looking for a contract that reflects his contribution to the cause in the Premier League.
The Salford-born player has been a fixture at right-back since joining from Manchester United, initially on a half-season loan.
Chelsea have been linked with a move for Simpson, who has always maintained he wants to commit his long-term future to United. However, if an agreement can’t be reached in the summer, the club will look to sell him and sign a replacement.
At least one defensive arrival is already expected, with FC Twente’s Douglas and PSV Eindhoven’s Erik Pieters understood to be targets.
Reims midfielder Romain Amalfitano, 22, has reportedly already agreed a three-year deal.
However, there will also be departures, with Aston Villa target Danny Guthrie certain to leave, while striker Leon Best’s future is also in doubt.
Guthrie hasn’t been involved in recent weeks despite recovering from a calf injury.
The 25-year-old, out of contract at the end of the season, was involved in talks over a new deal earlier in the season, but discussions were eventually shelved until the summer.
Guthrie has grown increasingly frustrated at a lack of opportunities, his appearances having been limited by the form of Yohan Cabaye and Cheik Tiote.
And Best – who has recovered from the knee injury which has sidelined him since February – hasn’t made Pardew’s last two squads, having been an unused substitute at Wigan Athletic.
The club will also listen to offers for striker Nile Ranger, who has been on loan at Sheffield Wednesday.