Newcastle Club Focus – Pardew explains Nolan departure

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has revealed the reasons behind his controversial decision to sell club captain Kevin Nolan. The experienced midfielder recently departed Tyneside to join West Ham for a fee in the region of £4 million. The move followed an inability for the club and the player to reach an agreement on a contract extension. Pardew was unwilling to offer Nolan a long term contract as he did not feel the 29-year-old was able to continue playing at the highest level in a few years time.

In an interview with The Guardian Pardew said: “My opinion is that we couldn’t give Kevin a five-year contract because, if Kevin isn’t playing first-team football, he isn’t going to be the leader we want, I’m convinced of that. In four or five years’ time Kevin needs to be doing the business in the first team and we couldn’t – and I couldn’t – see that possibly happening here at Newcastle so we had a decision to make.

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It remains to be seen what, if any, impact the absence of Nolan will make in the coming season. One of the biggest areas Newcastle will miss their former captain is in terms of goals scored. The former Bolton player had reached double figures for the past two seasons which will be difficult to replace. There is also Nolan’s leadership skills that have helped to create a harmonious dressing room in contrast to previous campaigns. On the other hand, the Newcastle hierarchy may feel it was a good piece of business to sell on an unsettled player whose value would only decrease over time. It would not have made good business sense to put a player coming to the end of his peak on a long-term deal on high wages. It seems that Pardew had a deciding say in the future of one of the previous season’s key players.

Pardew has also had plenty to say on the future of Joey Barton and Jose Enrique who could both potentially face the same fate as Nolan. With Gael Clichy having completed a move from Arsenal to Manchester City there could be a vacancy available at a top four club. Pardew has been quite pessimistic over the club’s chances of keeping hold of Enrique who has shown little interest in committing his future to the Magpies. Newcastle are still hopeful of completing a move for Swansea’s Neil Taylor although his future could well be in the hands of the different parties’ lawyers.

Pardew has been more confident in keeping hold of Barton who has so far attracted little interest from other clubs. The manager has still not given up hope on being able to reach an agreement with the player at a later date. Barton returned to pre-season training on Tuesday along with a number of other first team players. Due to the staggered nature of Newcastle’s pre-season training schedule batches of players will be returning on different days.

Pardew and Managing Director Derek Llambias have reiterated that the money from Andy Carroll’s transfer to Liverpool will be reinvested back into the club. So far Newcastle have looked to sign players available for little or no transfer fee which has prompted fears among some supporters that a large part of the fee will go unspent. In a rare media interview Llambias told the Daily Telegraph: “I can assure everyone that not a single penny of the £35m has left the club and neither will it. It is all going back in.” However, it appears that not all of the £35 million will be available purely in transfer fees. Instead it will also go towards wages, agent fees and development work at the club’s training ground. If big money is to be spent then it may not be until later on in the transfer window. The signing of Mevlut Erding looks less likely after the player stated a desire to remain in France.

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