Big Sam rues big Taylor talk
Newcatle manager Sam Allardyce has spoken of his disappointment that the club's contract dispute with Steven Taylor has gone public.
By Alex Dunn
Last Updated: 14/09/07 10:59am
Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce has spoken of his disappointment that the club's contract dispute with Steven Taylor has gone public.
The promising 21-year-old, recently given a taste of full international honours with England, has rejected a contract offer to remain in the North East.
Taylor has established himself as a defensive lynchpin at St James' Park but the offer he received from the club has not sat well with his father, and advisor, Alf.
And having gone public with his concerns, Taylor senior has provoked Allardyce into a response.
"The position is that we offered what we considered a very good contract for a player of his age and his experience, and if they have turned it down, then that's fine," said Allardyce.
"The disappointing thing is - and I don't want to get into any slanging matches - is that it was publicised in the papers, and I think that was wrong by his father.
"But I will cover that when we get sat down to talk about it again."
While Allardyce is loath to be held to ransom with regards the player's wages, he does accept that the defender is a now a key member of his first team ranks.
"Steven Taylor is a key member of our squad. We want him to stay, apparently it sounds like he wants to stay, so hopefully we can resolve the problems," he said.
"At the moment, we seem to be some way off, but we won't get sucked into paying somebody that we think is asking for too much.
"We want to give it a realistic look, and we have already started that process with the likes of Charles N'Zogbia, to push on to Nicky Butt and people like that who are in the last year of their contracts.
"That's the next thing we have to do now that the window is shut. Hopefully very shortly, everybody will have agreed and we will have a much more settled camp.
"From my point of view, it's always a little bit disturbing when people are talking about contracts while you are playing Premier League football.
"It can upset the player on the field, and that's the last thing we want."