Writer: Nick Simmonett
Date:Thursday June 28 2007
Both The Sun and The Independant reported this morning that Arsenal are ready to exercise a Ł13Million release clause in Newcastle striker Obafemi Martins' contract.
He is just the latest player to be linked with a move to Arsenal as the Gunners look to replace Thierry Henry.
The 22-year-old scored 11 goals in 32 Premiership games last season, and another 6 in Europe.
Speaking to Sky Sports the Newcastle Gaffer said: 'All I can say from the club's point of view and mine is that it is only speculation because we have had no official contact from anybody at Arsenal at the moment.
'Everybody knows about the clause situation he has - that leaves us in a very poor position as a football club.
'We have got the player contracted, it does not mean we have got the player and we can decide if we want to sell him or not because there is a get-out clause in that contract.
'We are left in a very precarious position regarding that. All the speculation that is flying around is difficult to cope with, but it is something we will have to try to find out over the next few days.
'When Oba comes back, we will sit down and say, 'What exactly is the situation?' and if he has any problems, try to resolve them and hopefully persuade him Newcastle is the place for him next season.'
Perhaps I'm reading too much into this, but I think that you often have to read between the lines slightly when managers comment on transfers. 'We've had no OFFICIAL contact yet.' No official contact could suggest that there has been contact of some sorts.
So that then begs the question: 'Can Martins replace Henry?'
Date:Thursday June 28 2007
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