NUFC not in the mood to sell key men

NEWCASTLE United will not be tempted into selling any of the players who have starred in their Championship promotion campaign – even if they receive big offers for them.

Jonas Gutierrez

NEWCASTLE United will not be tempted into selling any of the players who have starred in their Championship promotion campaign – even if they receive big offers for them.

United expect interest in some of the stars who have successfully rehabilitated their reputations in the second tier this term and the world’s eyes will be trained on Argentina international Jonás Gutiérrez in South Africa this summer.

José Enrique is another on the radar of some of the Premier League big boys while uncertainty still surrounds the future of England under-21 forward Andy Carroll and defender Steven Taylor, both involved in an alleged training ground altercation last month.

Boss Chris Hughton acknowledges his players may be under scrutiny, but feels United are in a strong enough position to turn down any bid they receive.

He feels the unity and togetherness of his United squad is another advantage – arguing anyone who wanted to leave the club would have departed last season.

Hughton said: “We are in a strong enough position.

“We have had that this season, and I don’t think it will be any different.

“The players want to be here. We have a group of lads who have wanted to be at this club.

“Your Coloccinis, your Gutiérrezs... I saw something from (Jonas) Gutiérrez in one of the papers yesterday about whether it would have been better for him to be somewhere else with the World Cup coming up.

“He made a conscious decision to stay here and that is pleasing.

“What we have had are players who wanted to be here. The fact we have now enabled them to get to where they wanted to be (the Premier League) is a big boost.

“It means I particularly would not anticipate anyone wanting to leave this summer.”

Although the era of austerity at St James’ Park is not over yet – a £20,000-a-week wage limit has been communicated to the avalanche of agents who have contacted Hughton – there is a quiet confidence they can hold their own next season.

That is reflected in the way the club have celebrated their achievement of returning to the top flight at the first time of asking.

So far things have been kept quite understated – and the news United have rejected the chance to parade the city on an open-topped bus to mark promotion has been welcomed in most quarters.

However, that should not detract from the feel-good factor which has swept the city since promotion was confirmed on Monday, an emotion Hughton hopes to ride to the Championship title over the next five matches.

He added: “It is a wonderful feeling to have been promoted.

“It is even more wonderful we have done it with five games to spare.

“It shows what we have been about all season – we have done it in some style. It has been a team effort.

“I take a lot of pride in what we have done, but I have to keep reminding myself there are a lot of people who have made this happen.

“Paul Barron (goalkeeping coach) and Colin Calderwood have worked very closely with me and incredibly hard.

“We are delighted to have been able to bring this magnificent club back to the top division. Now we want to keep Newcastle in the top division.”

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