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Allardyce convinced Martins is staying with Newcastle

Posted by By Paul Fraser on 2007/08/23 | Views: 458 |

Allardyce convinced Martins is staying with Newcastle


SAM ALLARDYCE expects Obafemi Martins will still be a Newcastle United player next month and insists there have been no approaches made for the Nigerian striker.

SAM ALLARDYCE expects Obafemi Martins will still be a Newcastle United player next month and insists there have been no approaches made for the Nigerian striker.

Manchester United are understood to be preparing to meet the 13m clause in his contract this week as they look to solve their striker crisis before the August 31 transfer deadline.

But Allardyce, who has five forwards vying for two or three front-line places, revealed that Newcastle have had no contact with clubs looking to buy the 22-year-old.

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Martins, who was also understood to be wanted by Arsenal, has shown he can adapt to life in the Premier League after scoring 17 goals last season and starting the new campaign with two.

That has alerted a number of top clubs, although there has been no firm offer for his services, nor is there expected to be.

"We all know Oba's situation regarding the clause in his contract, but nobody since I've been here has ever enquired about activating that clause," said Allardyce.

"We've had a massive, massive amount of speculation all the way through the summer, all through June, July and August, but not one football club has made contact with us saying 'we're going to activate that clause'. Manchester United are the same; they've made no contact whatsoever. Oba is still a Newcastle United player.

"It'll be a source of comfort and relief when the window closes because from a manager's point of view it means no one can take your player any more. We've had two players (the other being Michael Owen) in that position but I think by the end of the window both of them will still be with us. That'll be very good."

Allardyce also hinted that there were no incoming transfers on the horizon, despite the suggestion that Abdoulaye Faye is set to complete a move to St James' Park.

The Senegalese midfielder is thought to have already had a medical on Tyneside but Bolton are refusing to give the go-ahead for the deal until Newcastle agree to pay a 2m fee.

"Sadly there's no movement on the transfer front at the moment, I'm just hoping we'll get one in this week and I'll keep hoping," said Allardyce, whose side face Middlesbrough on Sunday. "But I'm very happy with the squad we've got."

The Newcastle boss also confirmed that new left-back Jose Enrique is still not fit enough to make his debut for the club following his 4m move from Villarreal, but he could face Barnsley in next Wednesday's Carling Cup date.

Shaka Hislop's career appears to be over, with Major League Soccer side FC Dallas ready to grant the former Premier League goalkeeper early retirement because of a persistent back problem.

The 38-year-old Trinidad & Tobago international goalkeeper has been out of action for more than a month with back spasms and there are real concerns the problem will be ongoing for the rest of the season.

''He's not going to be able to contribute the way we need him for the rest of the season,'' said FC Dallas coach Steve Morrow.

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