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Magpies deny Martins bid

And owner Ashley not looking to sell

By Mark Buckingham.   Last Updated: 26/08/07 9:07pm

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Martins: No offers

Martins: No offers

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Newcastle United have dismissed suggestions the club have fielded offers for Obafemi Martins.

The Nigerian striker has been linked with Arsenal and Manchester United, and has a £13million get-out clause in his contract.

But Magpies chairman Chris Mort refuted rumours of an offer for Martins, and also denied reports that owner Mike Ashley is looking to sell up.

"The club is not going to get drawn in to commenting on press speculation in the sports pages," Mort told the club's official website.

"I think most fans appreciate that there are those that make mischief by circulating stories about players and clubs.

"We have not, for example, had offers for Obafemi Martins or, for that matter, for the club itself."

Moving forward

Meanwhile, Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce was happy to see Ashley take in his first game since buying the club.

Ashley was in the crowd for the 2-2 draw at Middlesbrough on Sunday and Allardyce believes the club's owner enjoyed the match.

Allardyce said: "He appeared to have a good time, especially when the first goal went in, anyway.

"It was nice to see him here for the first time - and he hasn't tried to hide away because he was standing there with his Newcastle shirt on.

"It's great to see him. There is obviously lots of speculation around what he is doing, but as far as I am concerned, with he and Chris, we are moving the club forward as quickly as we possibly can."