Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tayls heads for exit?

It's been on the cards since Steven Taylor's agent Paul Stretford expressed frustration with the progress of contract talks, and today brought the news that the defender has been placed on the transfer list - though Chris Hughton has since admitted he's keen to keep him at St James' Park.

While the decision indicates that the club isn't prepared to concede to Taylor's current wage demands (rumoured - inaccurately, according to Stretford - to be a whopping £60,000 a week) and would prefer to cash in before one of our prize assets becomes a free agent next summer, the manager's subsequent comments suggest talks haven't necessarily broken down irreparably.

Taylor is a player whom most of us would be sorry to see leave - always committed and a definite England prospect, if often rather rash and headstrong - but given our current parsimonious approach to transfer fees and salaries, even the reported four-year £40,000-a-week deal on the table is extravagant so it's little wonder that we might have baulked at any increase.

The question then arises of who might want to take Taylor off our hands. He's been previously linked with Arsenal, and the Gunners are certainly in the market for a central defender in view of the departures of William Gallas, Philippe Senderos, Mikael Silvestre and our own Sol Campbell. More far-fetched, you suspect, was speculation of interest from the Nou Camp. Whether either club - or any other, for that matter - shares Taylor's apparent conviction that he's worth significantly more than £40,000 a week, we'll just have to wait and see.


Blogger Unknown said...

Well, that's what you get for taking your people for granted! If CH really wants to keep Taylor, he'd better get himself into gear and do some bridge mending. His comments sound like he doesn't really care - just wants to distance himself from it all. Perhaps he thinks it is worth sacrificing Taylor for a bag of transfer money, being able to avoid dealing with the potential timebomb in the dressing room, and shoring up his own contract extention. Pity. He loses credibility the longer this drags on. He will lose a lot of respect if he loses Taylor.

10:42 am  
Blogger Ben said...

Afraid I can't really agree there. As good a player as Taylor is (and as much promise as he continues to show), we're no longer in a position to shell out huge wages so if he's not prepared to compromise then transfer-listing him seems like a regrettable but ultimately sensible decision to me.

That said, I'd concede that Taylor might be aggrieved that we've been happy to hand Sol Campbell £35,000 a week at the age of 35.

But in any case it certainly seems as though the decision has had very little to do with Hughton - it's been taken over his head, so even if you think it's a bad move it's a bit unfair to lay the blame on him.

6:21 pm  
Blogger Paul said...

Sol Campbell - 73 England Caps - 35k per week

Steven Taylor - 0 England Caps - agent arguing for 60k per week.

Whilst undoubtedly a player of promise, he's also at an age where he needs to be delivering on that. It's a balance between paying for results and paying for potential.

I'll be sorry to see Taylor go, but even in the ludicrously inflated world of premiership wages, is he really at a stage in his career where he's worth more than 40k per week?

If we aren't likely to agree a contract with him, I'd rather we got some money for him than he left for nothing at the end of the season.

9:44 pm  
Blogger Ben said...

Incidentally, the Gunners' recruitment of Sebastien Squillaci from Sevilla today may have dampened any lingering interest they may have had. Has Taylor shot himself in the foot, perhaps?

12:06 am  

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