Newcastle deny Jose Enrique is Liverpool bound
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has insisted there is no deal in place to sell Spanish full-back Jose Enrique to Liverpool.
Speculation has been rife in recent months the former Villarreal full-back will leave Tyneside during the summer after putting talks over a new contract on hold.
Liverpool old boy Phil Thompson said in a television interview over the weekend he understood a deal had been done, a claim on which the Magpies were not prepared to comment.
However, Pardew, who has repeatedly spoken of his hopes of persuading the club's first-choice left-back to extend his stay at St James' Park, is adamant that is not the case.
He told the Evening Chronicle: "There's definitely no deal between the clubs - 100%.
"He's under contract here until next summer and we hope to open talks on a new deal as soon as possible. That's where we are.
"We want to keep our best players, and Jose's one of them. As far as anything being a done deal, that's not true.
"We want Jose to stay. Nothing's changed."
Pardew's comments are likely to do little to placate fans concerned that one of the club's most consistent players could be heading for the exit doors.
Striker Andy Carroll was ultimately prised out of the manager's grasp by the Reds' £35million January bid after repeated assurances he was going nowhere.
Indeed, Carroll had signed a new long-term contract just months earlier.
Newcastle had hoped both Enrique and midfielder Joey Barton would sign new contracts at the turn of the year, but the defender, having been linked with the likes of Bayern Munich and AC Milan, decided to wait until after the club's Barclays Premier League status was assured.
Barton also decided not to commit himself in the wake of Carroll's departure, preferring instead to wait for the club to persuade him of their ambition by tying up the likes of Enrique and skipper Kevin Nolan as well as targeting new signings during the summer.
The Spaniard endured a tough first couple of season on Tyneside after making a £6.3million switch from La Liga in August 2007.
However, he has developed into a genuine Premier League player and it is no surprise he has attracted the interest of prospective purchasers.
Indeed, the word in the north-east has been for some time that his future lies away from St James', and his retention or otherwise will represent a major test of how owner Mike Ashley's blueprint for the future is viewed within the dressing room.
Meanwhile, Pardew has been handed a boost by the news a scan on striker Shola Ameobi's knee injury has revealed no lasting damage.
The 29-year-old missed Sunday's 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa because of the problem, but he is expected to return to full training by the weekend and could be in contention for Tuesday night's clash with leaders Manchester United.
Latest in Sport
What time is the 2015 WWE Royal Rumble on? TV details and full card
Sam Burgess: Bath and England's next big thing
Australian Open 2015: Andy Murray gets his revenge over Grigor Dimitrov to face home favourite Nick Kyrgios
Brighton 2 Arsenal 3 player ratings: Did Tomas Rosicky's performance and goal make him man of the match at Amex Stadium?
Liverpool transfer news and rumours: Glen Johnson to stay; Fabian Delph move goes up in flames; Marc-Andre Ter Stegen for loan deal
- 1 Benedict Cumberbatch says Hollywood is better for black British actors
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd