DANNY Simpson has been so impressed by life at Newcastle United that he already wants to make his loan switch permanent.
The 22-year-old is on loan at St James’s Park until January, but just under a fortnight into his time on Tyneside and he is already convinced that a permanent move would be perfect for his fledgling career.
Simpson has made an impressive start to his United career, turning in two decent performances against Crystal Palace and Huddersfield Town as Chris Hughton’s side make early headway in the Championship promotion race.
Simpson is now hoping that United manage to keep hold of some of their established players with the transfer window slamming shut on Tuesday.
Kevin Nolan was the latest name to be linked with a move away from St James’s Park after Gary Megson went public with his interest in the player yesterday morning – but that was firmly rebuffed by United yesterday.
That is an encouraging sign for Simpson, who believes that talk of strife and uncertainty in the United dressing room does not reflect the reality.
“I’m loving it – I’ve been here for 10 days and I love the way things are going,” he said at yesterday’s St James’s Park club shop launch of United’s third kit.
“I know I’ve only been here for a week or so but I’m really happy – moving here for good is something I’d like to do. It’s a massive club.
“I’ve come here on loan but I want to play week in-week out now, and I’m not put off by the uncertainty.
“To be honest I’ve not even noticed any of the supposed uncertainty or chaos. Obviously I heard rumours before I came but I’ve come up and it’s been totally normal for me – no different from any other club.
“The players have trained just like any other club, the staff are just the same and you wouldn’t know that all this other stuff is going on.
“The players are playing together and everyone is on a high at the moment. Morale is good and we just want things to keep going now.”
Simpson believes that retaining senior men like Alan Smith, Nicky Butt and Nolan is important to the development of younger players like himself.
“I hope the senior players do stay because as a younger player you learn a lot from them – the way they train, the way they are around the training ground,” he said.
“They give you advice because they have been there, seen it and done it. You will take advice from guys like Kevin Nolan and Nicky Butt because of the careers that they have had.”
United fans are braced for a busy five days, with several clubs circling their star assets.
Megson’s decision to break cover and confirm his interest in taking former captain Nolan angered Newcastle, who insisted they had not received a bid for him.
Bolton’s chief scout Barry Whitbread was at St James’s Park to see Nolan score in Wednesday’s defeat of Huddersfield, and the club are clearly keen for him to return.
A spokesman said: ‘We have had no offers for Kevin Nolan and even if we had, he is going nowhere.”
But United do need to off-load more big earners, and the futures of Jonás Gutiérrez, Fabricio Coloccini and Steven Taylor remain shrouded in mystery.
Everton’s interest in Taylor appears to have been shelved with Sylvain Distin heading for Merseyside, while Aston Villa’s move for Richard Dunne should also rule them out of the running to sign the former England Under-21 skipper.
Midfielder Butt is another who may not be at St James’s Park after Tuesday’s transfer deadline, with several Premier League clubs having been offered the United skipper over recent days.
Against that backdrop, Hughton is also hopeful of adding to his squad – and is awaiting the green light to make a move for Tottenham’s Gareth Bale.
United’s caretaker boss is also understood to have two Manchester City youngsters on his wish-list.
CHELSEA and England captain John Terry was named defender of the year by UEFA yesterday – while Barcelona’s Lionel Messi picked up the prestigious club footballer-of-the-year award.
Manchester United’s Edwin van der Sar took the goalkeeper of the year award.
Barcelona captain Xavi Hernandez won the midfielder of the year award, and his team-mate Messi was also named forward of the year.