WEST HAM UNITED will rekindle their interest in Jonjo Shelvey this summer, and are confident they can persuade the Newcastle United midfielder to swap Tyneside for East London.

West Ham officials made a number of inquiries about Shelvey’s position during the January transfer window, but their approaches were rebuffed.

At the time, Rafael Benitez was extremely reluctant to allow any of his senior players to leave without cast-iron guarantees of a replacement, and by the time Miguel Almiron arrived in the final days of the window, the Hammers had turned their attentions elsewhere.

They remain extremely interested in Shelvey though, and with Manuel Pellegrini expected to receive a significant summer budget as the West Ham hierarchy look to build on their club’s current position in the top half of the table, another approach for the Magpies midfielder is anticipated.

Assuming Benitez remains in charge, there is a good chance Shelvey could move on this summer, with the 27-year-old having tumbled down Newcastle’s midfield pecking order in the last few months.

This time last season, Shelvey’s rich vein of form saw him touted as a candidate for Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad, but since missing out on England duty last summer, his fortunes have nosedived.

His last Premier League start came in the 1-0 win over Watford at the start of November, and he has played a cumulative total of 18 minutes in Newcastle’s last ten league games.

He finds himself as Benitez’s fifth-choice central midfielder behind Isaac Hayden, Ki Sung-yueng, Mo Diame and the injured Sean Longstaff, a dramatic fall from grace for a player who has never lacked self-belief in his own abilities.

His passing capabilities have never been in doubt, but Benitez is understood to harbour doubts about his work rate and willingness to buy in to the team ethic, hence his absence from the starting side.

Provided the Newcastle boss is happy with the guarantees he receives about his own transfer options this summer – and if he is not, he will not sign a new deal to remain at St James’ Park – Shelvey is likely to make a high-profile exit from Tyneside, along with Kenedy, who will not be re-signing once his current loan deal from Chelsea expires.

West Ham would be an attractive option for Shelvey – particularly if they can clamber into a European place in the final two months of the season – and while the Londoner has not publicly agitated for a move in the last few months, he cannot be happy with his current position on the fringe of the first-team squad.

Pellegrini has long admired his long-range passing capabilities, and is understood to regard Shelvey as a potential long-term partner for Declan Rice, who has played in both central midfield and at centre-half this season.

Shelvey’s absence from the Newcastle side means his international ambitions are well and truly on the back burner, and his fellow midfielder, Ki, also finds himself training on Tyneside this week rather than representing his country. However, in Ki’s case, the lack of international action is a personal choice.

The South Korean spent more than a decade representing his country, but opted to retire from the international game in the wake of January’s Asian Cup.

“It was a difficult decision, because I've been playing for ten years for my country,” said Ki, who returned to Newcastle’s starting side after a two-and-a-half month absence in last weekend’s 2-2 draw with Bournemouth. “I decided, because this is the time I have to give my position to younger players.

“For me, it’s very difficult to travel all the way to Korea and then play there and come back. I can’t focus 100 per cent either on the national team or Newcastle. Of course, it was a difficult time for me, but I had to decide for myself and then the country.”