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|Obafemi Martins Not For Sale by Nobody: 9:57pm On Aug 03, 2007|
DESPITE pledging his future to the Toon Army, Nigerian Obafemi Martins has been told by the new management of Newcastle United that he can leave if the club can find a suitable buyer this summer.
The Nigerian only recently turned down entreaties from the Emirates Stadium to play for Arsenal as a replacement for former captain, Therry Henry, who joined FC Barcelona in June, preferring instead to remain at Saint James’ Park.
The Independent of London reported on Tuesday that the new regime at Newcastle had told the Super Eagles forward, who has a £13 million buyout clause in his contract with United, that he could leave if there was a better offer. The money expected to be made on him, the report added, would be used by manager Sam Allardyce to bring in new players.
Allardyce is in dire need of money to buy new players ahead of the new English Premiership season, which begins on August 11, and had held discussions with new chairman Chris Mort on the transfer issue.
Report says the manager is being forced to sell because new owner of the club, Mike Ashley, is not making money available to spend during the transfer window. There are even insinuations that the manager and the new owner do not see eye-to-eye, prompting rumour that ex-England international Kevin Keegan was coming back to the club as football director with Alan Shearer as a coach.
The Independent said Obafemi’s £60,000 a week wage may discourage buyers from out of England, though he is an attractive prospect for clubs. The Nigerian international joined Newcastle last summer from Italian side, Inter Milan for £10million and scored 17 goals for the Toon Army.
In a swift reaction to the report, however, Allardyce said Obafemi was not for sale, assuring the club’s fans that the Nigerian would remain with the club next season.
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