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Enrique offered new deal
Published : 27 May 2011 14:30:12
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has claimed Jose Enrique will be offered a "fantastic" new contract to keep him on Tyneside.
Having seen his hopes of retaining Joey Barton's services all but dashed this week, Pardew has revealed the club will present the Spaniard's representatives with a tempting offer next week.
Pardew, who tied up teenage full-back Shane Ferguson to a new five-year contract on Friday, told the Evening Chronicle: "We have been waiting to see his [Enrique's] representatives, they are due here in the early part of next week. We are going to make Jose a very, very good offer and we are hoping he is going to accept it."
He added: "We are realistic about Jose because the ball is in his court on that one, not in ours.
"He will be offered a fantastic contract here, he knows that, but still it is going to be down to his decision. I am still hopeful."
Supporters who saw Andy Carroll sold in January despite Pardew's insistence that he was going nowhere, and then Barton's contract offer withdrawn earlier this week, could be forgiven for treating his comments with some scepticism.
There is little doubt that he wants to keep the left-back, who has been one of the club's most consistent performers over the last two seasons.
However, the former Villarreal defender has spoken of his ambitions to play Champions League football, and his current employers are currently nowhere near doing that.
If he did leave, a sizeable return on the Â£6.5million Sam Allardyce paid for his services during the summer of 2007 might soften the blow, but lead to further questions over just how ambitious the club is.
With Argentinian duo Fabricio Coloccini and Jonas Gutierrez both close to Enrique and skipper Kevin Nolan yet to agree a new deal, it might also lead to further uncertainty, the last thing the Magpies need as they attempt to build upon a creditable first season back in the Barclays Premier League.