Barcelona booked for Shelvey
Newcastle's Jonjo Shelvey will head to Barcelona this week for a check-up on the thigh injury that has been hampering his season.
The 26-year-old, who arrived at St James' Park in January 2016 from Swansea City, has made only eight Premier League starts this season and has been hampered in recent weeks by the thigh problem.
Sources on Tyneside say the midfielder is to travel to Barcelona this week to see the specialist he consulted before Christmas and as it stands, he has not been ruled out of Saturday's league trip to Chelsea.
However, Shelvey's fitness has been a concern with the £12million signing's last four appearances, the most recent of which came in Saturday's 1-1 FA Cup third round draw with Championship Blackburn, having come from the bench.
One of Rafael Benitez's most influential players, Shelvey has managed a total of just 101 minutes of football since November 3.
Benitez has lost South Korea international Ki Sung-yueng to Asian Cup duty, while fellow central midfielder Mohamed Diame sat out the FA Cup tie with a hip problem, although his manager is hoping he will be fit for the game at Stamford Bridge.
James Mason grew up in Northumberland so is entrenched in both the football and golf scenes. A low handicap golfer, he also follows Newcastle United and predicts big things under Rafa Benitez.