Newcastle United’s 2-1 defeat to Liverpool may have already been a downbeat conclusion to a largely forgettable campaign for the Toon but it was tinged with extra sadness as Shola Ameobi appeared to bring the curtain down on his Magpies career.
Sent off in the seconds after the Reds completed a two-goal turnaround, the 31-year-old could yet head to the World Cup in Brazil but looks unlikely to be offered a new contract at Newcastle.
Though that news has yet to be confirmed, manager Alan Pardew hinted at the player’s exit during a post-match interview, describing the sending-off as “really sad” as it was likely to be his last game.
While the former England under-21 international will have plenty of potential suitors, it remains to be seen as to whether there will be any interest from the Premier League with the forward short of goals and first-team action in recent years.
An impressive showing at the World Cup with the Super Eagles could alert clubs abroad to the forward, but it’s still unclear as to whether the goalscorer would favour a move abroad or if he will make Stephen Keshi’s final squad.
One club who could be open to an approach for Amoebi is Ipswich Town, who previously came close to prising the forward away from St James’ Park back in 2008 only for the deal to collapse at the last minute following a change of heart from the player.
But with Mick McCarthy in the market for a new striker following the release of Sylvain Ebanks-Blake and Ameobi available on a free, it could be a match made in heaven.
The 31-year-old excelled during Newcastle’s one-season stay in the second-tier and could be the ideal target man to fire the Tractor Boys to a Premier League return, having flirted with the play-offs this term.
Having been impressed with the club and facilities enough to nearly move there all those years ago, a Portman Road switch could suit Amoebi perfectly.