Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has told the Evening Chronicle that the Magpies will meet with representatives of Jose Enrique to discuss a new contract next week:
“We have been waiting to see his 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. 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.”
Of course, if nothing comes out of the talks, it will be inevitable that speculation will grow over Enrique departing from St James’ Park. The Spaniard will only have a year left remaining on his contract and Newcastle may look to cash in before he leaves for nothing next summer.
According to Guillem Balague on talkSPORT yesterday, the Reds are definitely interested in Enrique but they are still unconvinced about the 25 year old’s defensive capabilities. There is no doubt that the Spaniard has a great deal of promise going forward. He has a great deal of pace, good ball control and is very able at crossing the ball. Even just last week however, in the last match of the season against West Brom, he failed to mark Somen Tchoyi for the third West Brom goal to complete the Baggies comeback from 3-0 down.
It could be the case that Enrique’s form has dipped as doubts creep into his mind about his future at Newcastle, but there can be no doubt that statistically the Newcastle defence had a pretty poor campaign, conceding 57 goals.