The father of Newcastle United midfielder Ki Sung-Yeung has revealed that his son is looking to leave the club in January.
The South Korean has made just three appearances for the Magpies this season after falling behind Jonjo Shelvey, Isaac Hayden and Sean and Matty Longstaff in the St. James’ Park pecking order.
Although he is contracted until the end of the season, Ki’s father Kim Young-ok says the midfielder is looking to make an early exit from the north east.
Speaking to Korean broadcaster KBS, Ki’s father said:
Ki joined Newcastle from Swansea on a free transfer in the summer of 2018, despite previously spending a loan spell at arch rivals Sunderland.
The technical midfielder was in and out of the side during Rafa Benitez’s final season in charge, making 19 appearances.
However, his playing time has been limited further since Steve Bruce took charge in July, in part due to the emergence of Sean and Matty Longstaff.
According to Ki’s father, whether or not his son can secure a move away from St. James’ Park in January is dependent on whether Newcastle are prepared to terminate his contract.
“The key is whether the club will consider freeing them as a free agent,” Ki’s father added.
Newcastle have to decide if they are willing to let Ki go and free up the wage bill at the expense of losing an international footballer without commanding a transfer fee.
However, due to his lack of game time, it would be unlikely that any club would come in with any kind of substantial offer for the South Korean international.
Bruce has been rumoured to be interested in signing another midfielder in January, with Granit Xhaka widely linked.
If a deal comes off for Xhaka, or indeed any other midfielder, Bruce would be required to drop someone from his 25-man Premier League squad to make room for the new arrival.
Given Ki’s lack of minutes, he would be the likely candidate. If he were to be dropped from the squad, it would be more likely for Newcastle to cut their losses and release Ki, allowing him to move on in January.