Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Enrque Eyes New Magpies Contract; Enrque Wants Long-Term Stay with United

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Enrque Eyes New Magpies Contract; Enrque Wants Long-Term Stay with United

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner

JOS[ETH] Enrque has hinted he is ready to open new contract talks with Newcastle United - and the Spanish defender would be happy to stay long enough to qualify for a testimonial.

The 24-year-old was a pounds 6.5m signing from Villarreal in 2007. After a slow start as he adapted to the more hectic pace of English football, the left-back has blossomed into one of the Magpies' most effective and popular players.

The improvement has not gone unnoticed, with regular talk of interest from La Liga and even local rivals Sunderland.

But Enrque has long maintained he is happy on Tyneside, and would be pleased to underline his commitment by signing a new deal.

"I have always said the same thing," he commented.

"When I signed here, I signed for five years. I have two years more - this year and another one - but I am already thinking about the future and hoping that my stay is longer than that. I would like to stay for another five years if it possible. I am very happy here and I hope this season will be very good for us."

Ten years' service at St James' Park would entitle Enrque to a testimonial, a reward rarely handed out in the modern game. Enrque has become well used to life in the Newcastle "goldfish" bowl and revealed the methods he uses to combat speculation about him or his teammates.

"I don't take any notice of what is written or said about me," he insisted. "I know there are stories saying I might be going to Spain or another of the players might be going back to Argentina, but I don't pay any attention. If I'm honest, I don't see the English papers and I don't care what they say about me."

Along with his close friends, Argentina internationals Fabricio Coloccini and Jon[sz]s Gutirrez, Enrque is one of the most highly-prized players at St James' Park. …

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