While January is a month for transfers to be completed, February is a month for you to tie down players already at the club to long-term deals. This is what Newcastle United did this time last year, as they thrashed out a new deal for the signing of the season Cheik Tiote, with the Ivorian midfielder penning a new six-and-a-half year contract. While few deals will be of this length, there are a hat-trick of contracts that Newcastle need to get sorted sooner rather than later.
Arguably the most pressing of these is for Fabricio Coloccini. The Newcastle United captain has been in great form this season and if it wasn’t for him the Magpies would have suffered a lot more results like the one against Tottenham. His Newcastle and Argentina teammate Jonas Gutierrez realises Coloccini’s importance to the team like the rest of us, as he told the Sunday Sun: “I am so glad that he is here with our club and yes, of course I would like him to stay and I said that to him.”
Let’s hope Gutierrez can persuade Colo to stay, if any persuasion is needed that is, but while Coloccini’s contract runs till 2013, Danny Guthrie’s deal is up in the summer. While Guthrie wouldn’t be in your strongest Newcastle starting eleven, the midfielder has shown what he can offer this season. The 24-year-old has now played around 100 times for the Magpies since signing for Newcastle back in 2008 and has become an important squad player, if not an automatic starter.
My one reservation about Guthrie is that sometimes he doesn’t impose himself in games, such as in the Spurs match in which he was anonymous, but then no-one in a black and white shirt stood up to be counted at White Hart Lane. That includes Danny Simpson, who has been in contract negotiations with Newcastle for a fair few months now and clearly wants to stay at a place he now calls home. While Simmo comes in for a lot of stick, I’ve praised him on this blog many times before and Newcastle need players like Simpson in their squad.
With Newcastle having a week off due to their early exit from the FA Cup you would have thought this would be the perfect opportunity to conduct negotiations for contract extensions. There has been talk from manager Alan Pardew that the Magpies will wait until the end of the season to conduct their business, but for me there’s no time like the present for Newcastle to wrap up a hat-trick of deals for Coloccini, Guthrie and Simpson.