On, off, on, off, on, suspended.
In short, that’s what’s going on with Jonathan Bamba’s contract renewal talks at Saint-Etienne, which Newcastle and Huddersfield have been keeping an eye on all season.
The France U21 international wants a lot more money than the Ligue 1 club are willing to give him, and with his current deal running out at the end of the season, it’s becoming a problem.
As things stand, L’Equipe on Wednesday explain the talks have once again been suspended for the foreseeable future, which suggests the club have all but given up on convincing their starlet to stay beyond this season.
With Rafa Benitez and David Wagner admirers of the 21-year-old’s talents, and Premier League clubs way more carefree about the wages they hand out to players thanks to healthy TV deals, it seems like the next few months could be Bamba’s last in France.
Whether he ends up at St James’ Park, John Smith’s Stadium or elsewhere remains to be seen, but L’Equipe do hint Saint-Etienne’s last chance of making money off the forward has now passed.
He’ll carry on playing, having scored seven goals and picked up five assists in 23 appearances this season, but that’s as far as things will go, it seems.
There’s also the possibility of him ending up in Spain or Italy.
Guess it all depends on where Newcastle and Huddersfield end their season.