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Should Rodgers or Wenger be sacked?

Teams In Crisis 9 hours ago
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By ESPN Staff
Sep 7, 2007

Magpies' Taylor 'disappointed' at new contract offer

Newcastle defender Steven Taylor has rejected the offer of a new five-year contract at St James' Park.

The 21-year-old, one of the brightest prospects to emerge from the club's Academy in recent years, is currently on international duty, captaining England's Under-21s in the European Championship qualifiers.

However, his future with his home-town club remains uncertain after he turned down the Magpies' offer.

Taylor's current deal runs until the summer of 2009, but he is looking for improved terms as his stature continues to grow.

France Under-21 international Charles N'Zogbia this week signed a new five-year deal, while England college James Milner also recently committed his future to the club.

Taylor's father Alf, who is currently representing the defender, insisted his son is desperate to stay on Tyneside, but expressed his disappointment at the offer currently on the table.

He said: 'I only hope that they are not trying to force Steven out.

'He loves Newcastle United and it is the only club he wants to play for, but he is most disappointed at what they are offering him.'

Taylor's contractual situation has been up in the air for several months, but has been exacerbated by recent developments.

New signing Abdoulaye Faye has reportedly been handed a £30,000-a-week deal, with Taylor believed to be commanding less than a third of that.

Now the Taylor camp are hoping for an improved offer reflecting the defender's development into a genuine first team member.

Taylor's father said: 'Fans seeing the likes of Albert Luque and Jean-Alain Boumsong coming into the club with massive wages must think Steven is also on big bucks, but that is not the case.

'He is not playing for Newcastle for the money, but because he loves football and the club.

'But having said that, it is a short career and the financial aspect is still important.

'Fortunately, while he is disappointed, Steven has never - nor ever will - let it affect his performance on the field.

'He is a local lad who only wants to play for his local team.

'But perhaps that is why his contract offer is not in the same category as those players who are coming in from all over the place.

'Yet I do not see this being a problem at Liverpool with Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher.'

Manager Sam Allardyce is confident Taylor has a big future in the game, but has repeatedly insisted he still has a lot to learn and has, on more than one occasion, ordered him to keep his feet firmly on the ground.

New owner Mike Ashley and chairman Chris Mort have kept a tight rein on the club's finances since taking over at Newcastle, funding the manager's summer recruitment drive, but not to excessive levels.

Just how that extends to players' contracts remains to be seen, and Taylor could provide a test case.