Newcastle manager Chris Hughton insists he wants to keep Steven Taylor at the club despite the fact that he has not signed a new contract.
Defender Taylor is the forgotten man at St James' Park having not played a competitive match for the Magpies since January because of injury, and his current deal expires in the summer.
But he is set to return to the team against Chelsea on Sunday alongside Sol Campbell as both Mike Williamson and Fabricio Coloccini are suspended.
The 24-year-old centre-half's future at the club has been in doubt after he was transfer listed in August after contract talks broke down, but Hughton claims he wants to keep Taylor.
"I haven't talked to Steven about his contract - that's very much an issue between him and the club," he told the Northern Echo. "But our stance has not changed.
"We still very much want to have him at the football club and we'll continue to endeavour to keep him.
"That's very much never been an issue for us. And Steven himself is very focused.
"We certainly want to keep him here - he's the right profile, the right age and the right quality for the type of player we want here at Newcastle and certainly none of that has changed."
On his return against Chelsea, Hughton remarked: "You have to be 100 per cent focused and I'm quite sure Steven will be.
"Steven has been in good form. Both he and Sol have missed a lot of football.
"Sol has been involved in a couple of games this season, but Steven has missed a lot.
"He's been fit for a good while now, he's got a reserve game under his belt and what you have with Steven is a very good player."
The Blues make the trip to the North East on Sunday with Newcastle only taking one point from three matches, but Hughton is taking every game in his stride in the club's bid to avoid relegation this term
He added: "You lose a game and it's the end of the world; you win a game and you feel like you could be in the top 10. It's that type of game.
"Every result is a big result, every point is a big point.
"So far, we have been able to pick up enough points to put us in the position we are in, and we have to keep endeavouring to do that.
"You have to have belief. We are going to have some bad days. At the start of the season, we knew it was going to be a tough season and we have to expect that.
"But I certainly do think we have enough quality here."