We haven’t really talked much about Christian Atsu this season, but he technically remains a Chelsea player as he finishes out the fourth year of his original five-year contract the same exact way he’s finished all previous years of it, out on loan and wondering what’s next. Not that we ever expected anything more than this reality after opportunistically signing him in the summer of 2013, taking advantage of a rare bargain offered by FC Porto.
Atsu’s previous three loans have ranged from useful (Vitesse), complete failure (Bournemouth, Everton) to middling success (Málaga), but this season he’s found a good situation up north at Newcastle United, helping a certain former Chelsea interim manager guide the Magpies back into the Premier League. Newcastle confirmed their automatic promotion with a 4-1 win over Preston North End on Monday, Atsu scoring what proved to be the eventual winner on the stroke of half-time. It was his 4th goal of the season in 30+ appearances in all competitions (about half of which were starts), and not for the first time, rumors started up about Newcastle turning his loan into a permanent move.
According to ESPN, Newcastle actually have a buy-option on Atsu, and they have until the end of the season (plus one week) to exercise it. With personal terms already agreed apparently as part of the loan deal, it’s all a matter of just pushing the button.
Atsu has so far remained mum on what he might prefer, as he focused on helping the team achieve promotion. Now that Premier League football is in the bag for them, presumably his future will be decided soon. The buy-option is supposedly around £6.5m, which is just about double what Chelsea paid Porto for the now 25-year-old winger.