Wayne Routledge QPR deal hits snag

WAYNE Routledge's permanent transfer to Queens Park Rangers has stalled because the winger is waiting for a so-called "loyalty" payment from Newcastle United before he agrees to the move.

Wayne Routledge

WAYNE Routledge's permanent transfer to Queens Park Rangers has stalled because the winger is waiting for a so-called "loyalty" payment from Newcastle United before he agrees to the move.

Routledge is holding out for the six-figure sum as he did not ask for a transfer, even though United have agreed a fee with QPR and he has accepted personal terms.

Whether the stalemate continues once pre-season training gets under way remains to be seen, but The Journal understands the club will not be paying the money to Routledge.

As things stand, the winger is expected to report for the start of pre-season training – even though he spent the last half of the previous campaign on loan at Loftus Road and has made it clear he wants to sign for them on a permanent basis.

QPR boss Neil Warnock is still keen to bring Routledge into his squad following his side’s promotion to the Premier League.

While ex-Newcastle boss Chris Hughton – now in charge of Birmingham – would also like to take the former Tottenham prospect to St Andrew’s following his appointment as manager this week, QPR remain in pole position ti sign him.

United are happy to let Routledge leave as manager Alan Pardew does not think he is good enough for a top-half-of-the-table Premier League side.

However, they do not see why they should have to compensate him for that move after just 18 months on Tyneside – six of which he was a QPR player.

In reality, Routledge is likely to break first. Although he has every right to remain on Tyneside for the remaining year of his contract, he will hardly be involved in the first team following the signing of Sylvain Marveaux and the return to fitness of Hatem Ben Arfa.

In contrast, he is expected to be a key member of the side under Warnock and will also be able to live in his hometown where he spent much of his spare time, even when playing regularly for the Magpies.

Meanwhile, United have not received any bids or enquiries for Argentinian pair Jonás Gutiérrez and Fabricio Coloccini and are not looking to sell either of them.

There has been a lot of speculation in recent weeks about the two friends in light of José Enríque’s desire to quit St James’ Park this summer.

However, Coloccini’s wages of £86,000-a-week are likely to deter any interest from medium-sized Spanish clubs like Seville.

With two years left on his contract, the former Deportivo La Coruna star is “extremely happy” on Tyneside and is also a candidate to replace Kevin Nolan as skipper as he performed the role with some distinction in his absence last term. That is likely to mean Gutiérrez also stays. The winger has been making come and get me glances to Italian clubs as he wants to return to Argentina having played in all three major European leagues.

However, his wages of more than £40,000 a week are also off-putting and he is also happy to stay with Newcastle for at least another season, particularly as Coloccini will be there with him.

That could change if an acceptable offer is received as the arrival of Marveaux means he is no longer going to be an automatic starter on the left wing – he was a right winger when he signed – but club sources say there has been no sign of one so far this summer.

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer