Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey to have thigh check-up in Spain

Jonjo Shelvey will head to Barcelona for a check-up on a thigh injury
Image: Jonjo Shelvey will head to Barcelona for a check-up on a thigh injury

Newcastle midfielder Jonjo Shelvey is to head to Barcelona for a check-up on the thigh injury which has limited his involvement in recent weeks.

The 26-year-old has made only eight Premier League starts this season and has been hampered in recent weeks by the problem.

Sky Sports News understands he is to travel to Barcelona this week to see the specialist he consulted before Christmas, although sources on Tyneside insist the trip is scheduled and as it stands, he has not been ruled out of Saturday's league trip to Chelsea.

Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring at St James' Park 2:59
Highlights from Manchester United's win against Newcastle

However, Shelvey's fitness has been a concern, with the £12m signing's last four appearances, the most recent of which came in Saturday's 1-1 FA Cup third-round draw with Sky Bet 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.

Shelvey challenge pogba
0:44
Jonjo Shelvey was lucky to avoid seeing red after a high footed challenge on Paul Pogba in Newcastle's 2-0 defeat to Manchester Utd

Benitez has lost South Korea international Ki Sung-yueng to Asian Cup duty, while fellow central midfielder Mohamed Diame sat out with FA Cup tie with a hip problem, although his manager is hoping he will be fit for the game at Stamford Bridge.

In addition, Isaac Hayden has reiterated his desire to leave Tyneside this month for personal reasons after failing to do so during the summer.

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With the Magpies sitting two points clear of the drop zone and facing another uncertain transfer window with takeover speculation an added complication, Benitez is unlikely to sanction any departures unless his squad has already been strengthened.

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