SHAUN Wright-Phillips is interested in signing for Newcastle United – and his wage demands will not torpedo a move, according to his agent.
United are one of four Premier League clubs in the hunt for the England winger, who would prefer a permanent move after falling out of favour of Manchester City. And his representative, Wayne Lindsay, admits the lure of St James’ Park is tempting for a player who would offer Newcastle genuine top-flight experience on either flank.
With Wayne Routledge set to clinch a season-long loan move to former club QPR today, United are confident of brokering a second January signing before Saturday’s game against Spurs.
And while senior sources at United insist they have other options, Wright-Phillips is definitely on Alan Pardew’s radar.
Competition for the player includes Fulham – with many reports claiming the club that matches Wright-Phillips’ £70,000-a-week wage packet will be the one that wins the battle for the 29-year-old. Lindsay, however, insists football rather than finance will dictate his decision.
He told The Journal: “I can confirm that Newcastle United are definitely an option that he does have. At the moment they're one of four options and it's really down to the player himself which club he decides to go to.
“I know what is being said but I don't see wages being a stumbling block if he goes to Newcastle. He's really just assessing what his opportunities and options are, and it'll be a decision taken for football reasons.
“Clearly it is well documented what his current situation (not playing regularly) is. The next move may well be a permanent one so it is important what he decides to do.
“There isn't really a timeline as such for his decision – it just needs to be done before the end of January.”
News that Wright-Phillips would be willing to adapt his demands for Newcastle increases the chances of Pardew landing the former Chelsea man.
United are recruiting on a very tight budget and have already ruled themselves out of the chase for David Bentley after being presented with an incredible list of demands by the Spurs winger’s representatives.
Moves for Seb Larsson of Birmingham and Robbie Keane also lost momentum because of wage demands – while an approach for Cardiff’s Jay Bothroyd now appears to have been ruled out.
One addition United were able to make yesterday was John Carver, who rejoined
Newcastle as Pardew’s assistant manager on a four-month deal.
It is a shrewd and popular appointment by the United boss, with Carver well known to several senior players as well as Pardew’s lieutenant, Steve Stone.
The Newcastle-born coach remains highly regarded in the game and bringing him on board will go down well with supporters. Carver, of course, was Sir Bobby Robson’s number two during one of the most successful periods in the club’s history.
“I have been lucky to be able to work around the world with some excellent people," Carver, 46, added.
“However, I have always been a fan of this magnificent club and the years I spent working here were some of the happiest of my life.
“I am looking forward to working with Alan Pardew and building on the recent strides that the club has taken to get back to where we belong, at the top of English football. I understand how much the club and the results mean to these wonderful fans and I am delighted to have the opportunity to assist Alan in delivering them the success they deserve.”
Pardew said he hoped the deal could be extended in the summer.
“I'm very confident he'll be a great addition to our coaching staff and hopefully, if things go well, we can make it a longer-term appointment come the summer,” the Newcastle boss said.