Mohammed Salisu: Ghana star's Southampton future uncertain
Mohammed Salisu's continued absence from the Southampton squad stems from doubts about his commitments on the south coast, according to reports.
The centre-back was exiled from the squads that faced West Ham and Manchester City as Premier League action resumed after the international break, with both ties ending in defeat for the relegation-stricken side.
Whilst the club has blamed the absence on an 'unspecified injury' picked up whilst on duty for the Ghanaian national team, Salisu returned to training last week.
According to The Athletic, the 23-year-old is instead considering his options after prolonging discussions over a new deal to keep him at St Mary's for more than a year.
The Black Stars player signed for Southampton in the summer of 2020 from Real Valladolid, after attracting a raft of suitors – including Manchester United and Rennes – but is entering the last 12 months of his contract, which expires in the summer of 2024.
With Southampton sitting rock-bottom in table after a lacklustre season, a number of players with time running down on their deals with the Saints are waiting to see if the club is relegated at the end of the season before working out their next move.
Having recorded just two wins since the mid-February, Southampton could be facing their first spell in the Championship since 2011/12.
Newcastle are said to be interested in adding the defender to their squad as they look for greater depth in the hope of adding European football to their fixture list this season.
Discussions have been further complicated by intricacies within the organisation which represents the player.
Salisu's agency, JM 10 – which was founded by the father of Chelsea and United star Juan Mata – was acquired by CAA Base last season, and this presented additional complexities.
The player has made 80 appearances for the club since joining for a £10.9million fee two-and-a-half years ago and has been an important presence that the club, trapped in a relegation battle, can ill afford to go without for much longer.