According to Pardew, Enrique was offered one of the best contracts given at Newcastle but is still refusing to sign amidst interest from other clubs such as Arsenal, who can provide Champions League football, and Liverpool, who are reported to soon go toe-to-toe in order to sign him.
It is reported by the Mail that Arsene Wenger would have preferred Everton left-back Leighton Baines as Clichy’s replacement, but reports say Everton want £15m while the sale of Enrique would fetch a much lower price of around £8m.
Commenting on the situation Pardew had this to say: “Joey [Barton] seems pretty focused on Newcastle whereas the noises coming out of Jose’s camp are that he wants to get a new club [that is] playing Champions League football.
“We cannot offer him that at the moment, so that seems to be his focus. Hopefully that will change.
“It is a moving feast. We have got to be ready because if he goes, it is going to leave a big hole in the team and we need to fill it quickly. But he does travel to the United States with us.
- ‘Maybe it was a mistake’ admits Arsene Wenger on missed Arsenal signing
- Arsenal are among ‘20 clubs’ keen to sign 12 goal striker in the new year
- Willian reveals he has been left ‘frustrated’ by his start at Arsenal
“It is not ideal for us, as you can imagine. It is difficult. We have offered him a massive contract for this football club and he does not seem to want to sign it, so it is a very difficult position.
“We have had no concrete offers, but we are going to try and have contingency plans in place so that if we do lose X, then Y comes in.
“We are going to have to give ourselves some sort of chance, so that [a deadline-day exit like Andy Carroll’s to Liverpool in January, which left Newcastle with no time to buy a replacement] does not happen again.
“We not want to be in the same position as last time.”
Considering Wenger publicly stated recently that he intends to give up-and-comer Gibbs a promotion to the first team and also that Vermaelen and Traore are also in contention for the spot, the likelihood of Wenger signing a left-back such as Enrique or Baines seems slim. Of more interest is his comment of Vermaelen, who surely would have been thought of solely as a centre-back considering Arsenal’s current line-up in the centre of defense. Hopefully he is working hard to bring in a proven centre-back to bolster defense as he said he would do following the end of last season!! What do you think should happen at the back?