Football: Shearer extends deal at Newcastle

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ALAN SHEARER is set to end his playing career at Newcastle United - and he could stay on at St James' Park after he hangs up his boots. Shearer yesterday signed an extension to his contract that ties him to the club until the summer of 2004.

The England captain now looks certain to spend the remainder of his days as a player with the club who parted with pounds 15m for his services three years ago. However, that may prove to be only part of a lengthy relationship with United for the Newcastle-born 28-year-old, who returned to Tyneside via Southampton and Blackburn Rovers.

Shearer said: "I've got a lot of faith in the people that run the football club. I needed that because what I am effectively saying is I'm here for the rest of my career and hopefully more than that as well. What role that is who knows, only time will tell.

"I wouldn't start to discuss what's in the contract but it's never been a secret that I've always intended to go into management. That's still the case and whether that's here or somewhere else, only time will tell.

"Management certainly interests me but I'm not going to give up until hopefully we win something. It's still very early days to talk about that because I'm only 28."

Meanwhile, a former Arsenal trainee has launched a scathing attack on Arsene Wenger's foreign-buying policy. The full-back Jason Crowe, 20, who has just joined Portsmouth after being frozen out by Wenger's foreign purchases, insists that the French manager has no interest in young players coming through the ranks.

"The manager is only interested in his first XI. If you're not in his first XI, you don't really matte. He doesn't look after you. You have to look after yourself," Crowe said.

"It does knock your confidence. I think if there was an English manager at Arsenal, a lot more of the players who have come through the ranks would have played."