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What next? - 05/07/2003

   Clarence Acuna
   Sir Bobby Robson

It raises an eyebrow when I see that Iím being linked to Motherwell, Hartlepool, and even a Swedish team called Solna. To be honest, I havenít had any talks and although I'd love the chance to speak to other clubs in the UK or in Europe, as I reported into Darsley Park on Thursday I was, and still am, a Newcastle United player. Just over twelve months ago I was good enough to be offered me a three-year contract by the club - the contract runs out the season after next. Although Iíve been put on the transfer list itís still possible that Iíll be here in June of 2005. As Iíve said all along, my first priority is first team football, but Iíve also got to consider my financial position. The stories you hear about wages dropping massively are frightening. Itís not unusual for players to be offered deals that are 70 to 80% below their previous contract. Iíd be stupid to accept an offer from another club which would threaten my families financial security. Itís not just me in this situation, but Robbie, Nikos, Clarence, and Wayne Quinn, and donít be surprised if all of us see out our contracts.

However I am hopeful that we can come to some arrangement where we all win. If the club can come up with a deal where I can get first team football and keep my salary at around my present level, then Iíll go. Basically itís up to the club and my agent to sort out.

As for the first day back in training, itís been a bit of a laugh. I'd just got to the changing room when JC (John Carver) asked to see Robbie, Quinny and I. He said that they wanted us to use the Academy changing rooms!! I wouldnít care, but we actually trained with the rest of lads Ė probably because thereís still quite a few first teamers away after international duty. Itís pretty obvious that weíre not wanted, but what can you do? The three of us ended up having a laugh about it, atleast weíre all in the same situation. Weíll keep our heads down, do the training and see what happens.

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