Club Focus – Newcastle United – Pardew denies rumours surrounding Spanish star Enrique

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has denied claims in the media that a deal has already been agreed for Jose Enrique to join Liverpool in the summer. According to Phil Thompson an agreement is already in place for the much coveted full-back, but this week Pardew refuted Thompson’s comments and restated his desire to keep the Spaniard at the club and to open contract talks as soon as possible.

Pardew told the Evening Chronicle: “There’s definitely no deal between the clubs – 100 per cent. He’s under contract here until next summer and we hope to open talks on a new deal as soon as possible. That’s where we are. We want to keep our best players, and Jose’s one of them. As far as anything being a done deal, that’s not true.” It remains to be seen whether anything will happen in the summer with Enrique sure to be a target for a number of leading clubs. The 25-year-old is one of a number of players at St James’ Park whose futures are currently up in the air. The likes of Joey Barton and Alan Smith will enter the final year of their lucrative contracts in the summer with no agreements yet in place to keep them at the club.

The Magpies are without a game this weekend as their scheduled opponents Manchester United are in FA Cup semi-final action. The game has been rearranged for three days later when the league leaders will travel to St James’ Park. Newcastle have received some encouraging news about striker Shola Ameobi who missed the Aston Villa game with a late injury scare. The experienced front man has suffered no long term damage to his knee and is set to return to training again at the weekend. He should be in contention for Tuesday’s game with the Red Devils.

Wayne Routledge’s agent has denied that his player has already agreed a move to Queens Park Rangers for next season. The winger is currently on loan with the Championship leaders who appear certainties to be playing in the top flight next season. Routledge has impressed on his return to his former club scoring four goals in his 15 appearances, once again showing his ability when playing below the Premier League. QPR have an option to sign the 26-year-old at the end of the season but according to agent Will Salthouse it is yet to be agreed. It seems unlikely he has much of a future on Tyneside as Pardew allowed him to go out on loan in January despite a shortage of midfielders on the club’s books. His replacement at the time was Stephen Ireland but the attacking midfielder is yet to feature in a black and white shirt. He now has just six games to secure a move away from Aston Villa for next season.

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