Tuesday, June 12, 2007

New regime, new deals

No new incomings today, but instead news of two members of the current squad extending their contracts with the club.

Firstly, cult hero Nobby Solano, a revelation for much of his time at right back last season, has signed a one year deal. Long may the Peruvian continue to keep Stephen Carr out of the side - though that's also dependent on us having a better left back than Babayaro...

Secondly, young Dutch 'keeper Tim Krul has put pen to paper on a four year extension. Clearly he's highly rated by the club - and his one first team display to date, in the creditable 1-0 win away to Palermo in last season's UEFA Cup, suggests that faith in his having a very bright future in the game is well-placed - so it's pleasing to know we've tied him down to a longer deal.

That said, Krul's evidently under no illusions about the season to come; he knows he's not yet ready to challenge Shay Given and Steve Harper for a place in the first team, and is fully prepared to be loaned out to gain some all-important experience. A level-headed young player at Newcastle? Quick, sign him up for another four years!

One player who still hasn't signed on the dotted line is Joey Barton, the issue of that £300,000 at the heart of his ongoing dispute with Man City. It all seems to be a question of semantics - City claim Barton triggering the release clause in his contract constitutes asking for a move, meaning he's not entitled to the money, while Barton evidently feels otherwise. Fat Sam, inevitably, is apoplectic about the whole situation: "They're out of order. I'm flabbergasted and want the situation resolved". It doesn't exactly reflect well on our prospective new signing that he's prepared to kick up a fuss over what will amount to about six weeks' wages at his new club - not that he needed to draw any more negative media attention to himself...


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