Pardew backs Newcastle United legend Ameobi for management

Shola Ameobi

Toon boss Alan Pardew has praised the leadership qualities of Shola Ameobi as the striker continues to fight for a new contract.

Newcastle United club icon Shola Ameobi could someday lead the Magpies as manager after being backed to make a successful transition into work on the touchline.

The 32-year-old was on the scoresheet in the club’s 2-1 home defeat to Swansea City last time out in the league but his future at the club remains in the balance.

Ameobi has been with the club for 14 years but is in the final few weeks of his current deal with the Toon and could be set to depart come the summer.

Manager Alan Pardew has hinted at offering the forward a contract extension though, with some rumours suggesting that the forward could move into a player/coach role.

And the Newcastle manager backed Ameobi to make a successful transition into the world of coaching and football management.

“He [Ameobi] is a very important leader. He is a player who is going to have a huge future on the coaching and managerial front himself,” he said.

“He has seen it all and that gives him great experience for this particular club, and that's why he is very, very important in my changing room.”

Despite talk of Ameobi moving into management, it’s unclear as to whether the player would be willing to hang up his boots just yet.

The striker has not given up hope of featuring at this summer’s World Cup for Nigeria and with an African Cup of Nations also just around the corner, the offer of football at another club could convince the forward to end his association with the Magpies.

Ameobi's departure could be a major blow to Newcastle's fortunes, with the Toon also facing up to the prospect of losing on-loan striker Loic Remy.

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