Jonjo Shelvey says he was close to leaving Newcastle United for West Ham United this summer

West Ham United were keen to land Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey during the January transfer window, but former manager Rafa Benitez blocked the move.

A move appeared to be back on the cards during the summer transfer window and the 27-year-old was keen to link up with the Hammers having supported them as a club.

West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini wanted a midfielder, and while Shelvey was on his list, Newcastle turned down the London Stadium outfit’s approach for the former Liverpool and Swansea star.

Spain youth international Pablo Fornals was brought in instead, but the Magpies star has revealed that he was close to leaving Saint James Park for the Irons.

“I was close to leaving to go to West Ham. But it never came – the club said no to it. I’ve not once stated that I want to leave this club,” Shelvey told The Sun.

“I’m happy here and I love living in the city. I get labelled that I’m a sulker and that I’m not part of this team.

“But I am part of this team. I’m playing for another contract at this football club and I need to keep performing and keep training hard. I’ll do what the manager tells me to do and what the hierarchy tell me to do. I just want to be part of the squad.”

Shelvey found himself out of favour under Benitez during the second-half of last term, and was willing to move on as he fancied his chances of getting into West Ham’s XI.

The Englishman started Newcastle’s opening two games of the new Premier League campaign and also featured during midweek’s League Cup loss to Leicester City, and is set to feature prominently under new Toons boss Steve Bruce.

The Hammers have now moved on, and it’s almost impossible to see Shelvey joining Pellegrini’s side anytime soon.

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