Newcastle United are reportedly planning a January fire sale of some of their out-of-favour first-team stars, and one of them is central midfielder Ki Sung-yueng – with the South Korean star having managed just three appearances this season.
The Shields Gazette claimed 30-year-old Ki is one of four players Newcastle will look to throw on the scrapheap. Joining the former Celtic man on the transfer list is Javi Manquillo, Yoshinori Muto and Dwight Gayle.
Ki signed for Newcastle in the summer of 2017 after Rafa Benitez had delivered promotion back to the Premier League. He has since clocked up just 22 appearances for Newcastle, and is currently well down the pecking order.
Indeed, the emergence of the Longstaff brothers has seen Ki plummet while already behind the likes of Isaac Hayden and Jonjo Shelvey. If Newcastle can keep the Longstaffs, the chances of Ki getting any game is slight.
The midfielder has got to leave, then, and Celtic could do a lot worse than bringing the player back to Parkhead – more than seven years after Ki left Celtic to join Swansea City for a fee in the region of £5.5million (Wales Online).
Celtic signed Ki themselves from South Korean outfit FC Seoul and he clocked up 87 appearances in the time he was at Parkhead. Indeed, he helped Celtic win the first of their eight consecutive Scottish Premiership titles.
The midfielder has since played for Sunderland and then Newcastle. Celtic could do with another central midfielder, given that Scott Brown is 35 in June, Nir Bitton is linked with an exit as are Olivier Ntcham and Kouassi Eboue.
Bringing Ki back to Celtic Park would give the Hoops a top-quality addition in the middle of the park, but any potential move probably depends on whether Celtic can afford Ki’s £40,000-a-week wages (Spotrac).