Martins seeks Magpies stay

58th minute: Martins responds with an immediate reply to Arsenals opener.
Image: Martins: In no rush to leave

Obafemi Martins has revealed that he would be willing to lead Newcastle's promotion push next season.

Nigerian star prepared to remain on Tyneside

Obafemi Martins has revealed that he would be willing to lead Newcastle's promotion push next season. The Nigeria international had been expected to be among those heading for the exit this summer following the Magpies' relegation into the Championship. However, he insists that helping the club bounce back into the top flight at the first time of asking remains his priority. A hefty salary and mounting interest away from St James' Park could yet see him offloaded but, for now, Martins is planning for life in the second tier. "I hope I am not sold," he told the Evening Chronicle. "If the club decides to sell me I have no choice but to go. But my aim is to stay and help get Newcastle promoted next season.

Sale

"I love living in Newcastle and there are few better places to live and play. "I know the club is for sale and that is hard for the fans. Yet I hear there could be some light at the end of the tunnel eventually." Martins has recently been in Italy for treatment on a niggling groin problem, but insists he will be ready to head back to Tyneside in time for pre-season. He added: "I have been in Italy for treatment lately. "There I spoke to a lot of people about Juventus and their demotion to Serie B (in 2006). "Back then, they still kept very, very good players such as Pavel Nedved, Alessandro Del Piero and Gianluigi Buffon. That helped them get promoted, so I can take a lot of solace from that."

Around Sky