Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Butt on Way to a New Contract

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: Butt on Way to a New Contract

Article excerpt

Byline: Luke Edwards

NEWCASTLE United will reward Nicky Butt for his eye-catching start to the season under Sam Allardyce with a new two-year contract.

Butt's advisers are in talks with chairman Chris Mort about extending his present deal at St James's Park, which expires at the end of the season, and The Journal understands a deal is close to being agreed.

Allardyce is confident the 32-year-old former England international, who almost left the club to join Birmingham City after a poor first season on Tyneside, can continue to excel in the Premier League for many years to come.

Newcastle's manager had an excellent track record in prolonging the careers of several big-name players at former club Bolton, including former Magpies midfielder Gary Speed, who is still performing in the top flight at 38.

"Nicky Butt has been one of our most consistent players this season," said Allardyce, who believes Butt's experience and no-nonsense approach has also been important in the dressing room as he tries to build a new-look side at St James's Park.

"Contract talks go on above me, but talks are going on. I don't know how far along they've gone but they are happening. He is someone I'd like to stick around. He has started this season, has played in virtually every game and has been one of our best performers. I'd like to give him another one, maybe two year contract.

"In terms of fitness, we can prolong his career with the tools and expertise we have here, like we did with Gary Speed at Bolton. But it is up to Nicky Butt how long he wants to carry on playing for. He's only 32, so he's not exactly an old man yet."

Butt has been an ever-present for United in the league this season and, although he has a fight on his hands to hold onto his place in the side now that Joey Barton and Emre have returned from injury, Allardyce is delighted with what he offers to the team. …

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