Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has stated that he hopes highly rated Jose Enrique will remain at the Tyneside club.
The Spanish full-back has been subject to transfer speculation after an impressive 2010/11, with Arsenal and Liverpool reportedly interested in the ex-Villarreal defender. However his boss knows that it will be difficult to convince the 25-year-old to stay at St James Park.
“No-one is more keen for him to stay than myself. He was a terrific player for us last year and he has been terrific for the club,” the former West Ham coach told BBC Radio Newcastle.
“We are trying to persuade him to stay, but with a year running on his contract and his desire to play Champions League football at his age, it’s going to be difficult to keep him. It’s one of those situations where we just have to keep watching and hoping that it falls our way,” he stated.
The 49-year-old is also hoping further success on the pitch in 2011/12 will be the key to keeping his starmen, as the northern club are struggling to compete with the top six financially.
“As it stands financially at the moment, we can’t compete with those top teams in terms of trading players. But of course we can compete on the football pitch, so what we have tried to do is bring in players that we feel have an improvement in them and a desire to play for Newcastle, and that’s why we targeted the players that we have.
“Now the most important thing to keep those players is to put success in front of them. When you are building a new side, it needs to have progression, and that’s something we are going to need this season, we are going to need to see a progression in our form, in our consistency and get as close as we can to those top teams.
“If we see that, I think we an keep them another year, and then when we go into that second or third year, then you really, really need to be very, very close because then they are going to start looking, as Jose is now, for those trophies, and I think we can do that. The likes of [Cheick] Tiote, Cabaye and people like that, we are going to have to have success on the pitch to keep them, 100%,” he concluded.
Pardew also stated that he has a good working relationship with Joey Barton, and hopes the midfielder remains in his squad for the forthcoming season.