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Arsenal Transfer News: Gunners Look To Fill Clichy Void With Jose Enrique

Abhishek Iyer
889   //    05 Jul 2011, 15:38 IST

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew believes that Arsenal’s sale of Gael Clichy to cash rich Manchester City might have a trigger in effect and impact the future of their own left back, Jose Enrique. Enrique was reportedly unhappy at Newcastle’s transfer dealings over the summer and the contract offered to him, and he would jump at the chance to play Champions League football.

Enrique on Gunners radar

Speaking to BBC Newcastle, Pardew said that the Clichy sale definitely didn’t make things easier for the Enrique situation and that they now had a fight on their hands to keep hold of him. He said-

“I don’t think it helps the situation,”

“There’ll be a lot of speculation about who will replace Clichy and the knock on effect. It’s not helped our cause.”

Pardew admitted to being worried to such an extent that he expected Enrique not to be present on the first day of pre-season training, and expressed his relief that the Newcastle man did finally turn up.

“There was a big part of me thinking he would not return for the first day of training but it looks like he is going to take part and that’s good news.”

Enrique, who is a former Spain U-21 international, had a stellar season for the Magpies last time round, and was one of their most important players as Newcastle finished in a respectable mid-table position.

And Pardew seemed more than eager to keep him at St.James Park, in spite of the player’s obviously high ambitions. He however admitted to having a back-up plan ready, in case talks broke down and the player did move to Ashburton Grove. He said-

“No one is more keen for him to stay than myself. He was a terrific player for us last year and terrific for the club,”

“We’re trying to persuade him to stay, but as he’s got a year to run on his contract and has a desire to play Champions League football, at his age it means it’ll be difficult to keep him.”

“It’s one of those where we have to keep watching and hope it falls our way.”

“It would be foolish not to have a back-up plan, which we have, and that will kick into operation if Jose does leave.”

Liverpool have also been credited with an interest in Enrique, with Kenny Dalglish feeling that Glen Johnson is not up to the mark defensively.

Newcastle seem fairly adamant to keep Enrique, but their talk of aback up plan suggests they are almost resigned to see him leave. Now the only question is whether Arsenal are going to make a move.

Abhishek Iyer
24 year old, short term pessimist and long term optimist gooner. If you read any of my stuff and come to the conclusion that I know nothing about football, we\'ve finally reached an agreement.
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