Kinnear laughs off move to Sunderland

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The Independent Football

Joe Kinnear laughed off newspaper reports from yesterday morning that he has applied for the vacancy at Sunderland or that a third party asked a question about the job at the Stadium of Light on Kinnear's behalf. Knowing the explosive potential of such reports, the 61-year-old Newcastle interim manager denied he even has an agent who could make such a call.

"I don't have an agent," Kinnear said after Newcastle's 2-1 victory over Tottenham. "I don't like agents, I don't pay agents, I don't have nothing to do with agents."

In an interview Kinnear gave in October to the Sunday Times when he detailed how he came to be offered the temporary position at St James' Park, Kinnear said: "I got a phone call from my agent, Jonathan Barnett, who told me, 'You can expect to hear from Mike Ashley, about Newcastle.' "

Sunderland are fully aware of the allegation that someone contacted the club to mention Kinnear in the 48 hours after Roy Keane's departure earlier this month.

Kinnear told reporters: "It's another saga, living up this way, it's never-ending. You're a mischievous lot, you're never happy unless you're giving me a kick in the cobblers."

Kinnear hopes his priorities will be Newcastle matters, such as Michael Owen's contract. Kinnear said there is a meeting between Owen's agent and managing director Derek Llambias this week.

He added that Shola Ameobi suffered a hamstring strain yesterday and that Obafemi Martins has a groin strain but should be fit for the match against Wigan on Boxing Day.