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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 June 2007, 09:54 GMT 10:54 UK
Martins urged to stay
Obafemi Martins
Martins has a get-out clause in his contract
Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce hopes to persuade Obafemi Martins to stay at the English Premiership club.

The Nigerian international is being touted as a possible replacement for Thierry Henry at Arsenal.

The 22-year-old has a get-out clause in his contract and is known to be admired by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

Martins scored 17 goals in his first season in England after moving to Newcastle from Inter Milan.

However, Allardyce will sit down with Martins next week when he returns for pre-season training and attempt to convince him of his ambitions for the club.

The manager said: "All I can say from the club's point of view and mine is that it is only speculation because we have had no official contact from anybody at Arsenal at the moment.

"Everybody knows about the clause situation he has - that leaves us in a very poor position as a football club.

"We have got the player contracted, it does not mean we have got the player and we can decide if we want to sell him or not because there is a get-out clause in that contract.

"We are left in a very precarious position regarding that. All the speculation that is flying around is difficult to cope with, but it is something we will have to try to find out over the next few days.

"When Oba comes back, we will sit down and say, 'What exactly is the situation?' and if he has any problems, try to resolve them and hopefully persuade him Newcastle is the place for him next season."

Newcastle name Allardyce as boss
15 May 07 |  Newcastle United


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