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Joelinton distances himself from €60m Newcastle move

15:13 GMT 25/03/2019
Joelinton - cropped
While the Magpies and Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig have both been linked with the highly-rated striker, he says he will be staying at Hoffenheim

Joelinton insists he will stay at Hoffenheim despite reported interest from Newcastle United and RB Leipzig.

The Brazilian striker spent the last two campaigns on loan at Rapid Vienna before returning to Hoffenheim this season, scoring 11 goals in all competitions.

Joelinton extended his contract through to 2022 in November, yet that has not halted speculation that he might be on the move at the end of 2018-19.

Newcastle have been linked with a club-record €60 million (£51m/$68m) deal, while Leipzig boss Ralf Rangnick openly discussed his side's interest in the player.

But even with Hoffenheim sitting nine points adrift of a Champions League place, Joelinton says he is committed to the club.

"I have a contract here, whether we are in Europe or not," he told Kicker.

"That has no influence.

"I will continue to play here, with or without Champions League football. I'm very happy here and happy to play for Hoffenheim."

Alfred Schreuder will return to Hoffenheim as head coach next season, replacing the outgoing Julian Nagelsmann, who is set for Leipzig.

And Joelinton is looking forward to linking up with Schreuder, having worked with the Dutchman when he assisted Nagelsmann.

"I worked with [Schreuder] for a while in my first season at Hoffenheim," Joelinton said. "He's very professional.

"He was very supportive of me and the young players back then and I'm looking forward to working with him again."

Rangnick has previously said of the speculation surrounding a 22-year-old frontman: "I only read that Newcastle want to pay [roughly] £50m for him.

"Coming with this fee, the player would get a fitting contract. We are not able to pay this, whoever the player is.

"If these numbers are true, [Leipzig could not pay it]. Although it would surprise me, because Mike Ashley, who has never paid more than around £20m for a player, is thinking about selling the club and wants to make a profit.

"That he, at the end of his tenure at Newcastle, would buy a player for so much money is hard to believe.

"But it doesn't matter, even if the fee is a bit below that. We will never be a club who can afford such players. It amused me a bit in these past days, reading this and also being linked to the player."