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By ESPN Staff

Newcastle confirm Butt has signed new deal

Newcastle have confirmed midfielder Nicky Butt has signed a contract extension, committing him to the club until the end of next season.

The 34-year-old, who joined the Magpies from Manchester United four-and-a-half years ago, joins Steve Harper and Shola Ameobi in committing his future to the club in recent weeks.

Former England international Butt has played 138 games for the Premier League club, scoring five goals - although he has yet to find the target this season.

After signing the new deal, Butt told the club's official website: "I'm happy to get it sorted - now know I'll be staying at Newcastle United next season.

"We hope we can get things moving forward again, start climbing the table and finish this season as strong as we possibly can.''

Magpies boss Joe Kinnear has been speaking about his delight at having Alan Smith close to fitness for the first time since taking the reins at St James' Park.

Smith has endured another injury-plagued season, after breaking his ankle six months ago, but could feature against West Brom this weekend.

"I've been unable to pick Smithy since coming in as manager and I'm delighted to get the opportunity to do so now,'' said Kinnear.

"I've always rated Smithy very, very highly - and he'll bring the battling qualities we need at the moment.

"He wears his heart on his sleeve, and that's what you need when you are up against it.''


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