With his contract at St James' Park due to expire next summer, and with no extension being discussed, the experienced frontman is heading towards free agency.
Shola Ameobi: "I have been at Newcastle almost all of my career and it could be a fresh start, a change, which I am excited about. If I can go to the World Cup and do well, anything could happen.
"I am not one to look too far ahead. But I know it is a big year for me. I have been at Newcastle almost all of my career and it could be a fresh start, a change, which I am excited about. If I can go to the World Cup and do well, anything could happen.
"It is a big season before that though, there are a lot of good players Nigeria can pick from so the priority is to play well for Newcastle, get in the team and play well. If I can do that, I have a better chance of being in the Nigeria squad.
"It is surreal when you think about it. I was 21 at the time, a lot going on and the world at my feet. That was all about getting into the Newcastle team back then. To think that another opportunity has come up now with Nigeria is a great feeling.
"It was disappointing never to get called up for the main squad. I was a player who always wanted to play at the highest level. That is all I ever wanted to do. I wanted to play international football.
"There are players in squads you never thought would make it who did. In that respect, it is very inspiring. It just shows you what hard work can do. It has been great to think the Nigerian coach has recognised what I can bring to the squad."