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By ESPN Staff

Taylor finally inks three-year Newcastle deal

Newcastle defender Steven Taylor has ended speculation over his future by signing a new three-year contract.

The 22-year-old finally put pen to paper after more than a year of negotiations following the intervention of club owner Mike Ashley.

Taylor, captain of England Under-21s, always insisted he wanted to stay with the club he supported as a boy and will be delighted to have finally been rewarded with the deal he craved.

Ashley urged new managing director Derek Llambias to find a swift resolution within days of his appointment with a series of potential suitors looking on jealously.

Manager Kevin Keegan was desperate to retain the services of the Greenwich-born player, who has established himself as a firm favourite with the club's fans since emerging from the academy.

He will now hope for similar success with star striker Michael Owen who, like Taylor, had a year remaining on his existing contract.

It is understood Taylor's new deal will more than treble his wage packet to around £35,000 a week and bring him into line with the likes of James Milner and Charles N'Zogbia, who have recently been awarded improved terms.

Taylor said: 'I am thrilled to have signed this new contract.

'Newcastle United is my hometown club and the only team I've ever wanted to play for.

'I can't wait to get back into pre-season training next week and get stuck into the Premier League campaign next month.'

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