Newcastle United defender Jose Enrique has refused to comment on his future, despite continued speculation linking him with a transfer to Liverpool.
The 25-year-old’s diplomatic stance may concern Newcastle fans, who aimed to rally around the player in Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Birmingham in an attempt to assure him that his future lies on Tyneside.
However, Enrique hinted to those placing free bet that if manager Alan Pardew is allowed to invest a significant amount of the £35million transfer fee paid to the club by Liverpool for Andy Carroll, it would encourage him to stay at St James’ Park.
He told the Evening Chronicle: “It is always nice to hear that (the fans cheering him), but we will see what happens. The most important thing is the team. I know the fans like me a lot, but we will see.”
“Next season we will hopefully get new players and try to build on a top-10 finish.
“It would be very nice for us to finish ahead of Sunderland,” he added.
“I remember they were happy to see us go down, but now we are in the Premier League and we have been better than them so far – it’s important we keep going.”
Meanwhile, he insisted that he is only focussing on ending the season on a high with the Magpies.
“To finish in the top 10 is important this season,” Enrique added. “We will see what happens next year and which players come to us. We have a great squad here though, and we have been very unlucky with injuries.”
With Enrique stalling on a new deal with Newcastle, the club may be forced to sell before risking losing him on a free transfer further down the line.
Liverpool Director of Football Damien Comolli is thought to have earmarked Enrique as the answer to the club’s left-back problems, with manager Kenny Dalglish being forced to utilise Glen Johnson, Daniel Agger and youngster Jack Robinson there in weeks.
Argentine Emiliano Insua and Paul Konchesky’s Anfield careers appear to be over, while Fabio Aurelio’s injury problems could see his second stint at the club cut short.
Rumours surfacing amongst those regularly placing a free bet in recent days have linked Konchesky with a move to St James’ Park in a player-plus-cash deal for Enrique, though neither club has commented.
Respected Spanish journalist Guillem Ballague recently posted on Twitter that a left-back is among the club’s wish list as they aim to produce a major rework of their squad in the summer.