NEWCASTLE United have not given up hope of signing Neil Taylor despite Swansea’s insistence he won’t be sold.
The Magpies have been pursuing the 22-year-old for several weeks after activating what they believed was a £1m release clause in his contract.
However, Swans chairman Huw Jenkins has revealed the offer has been rebuffed and that Taylor is expected to play a role for the promoted club next season.
Swansea insist the £1m clause only allowed clubs permission to talk to left-back Taylor and that they aren’t prepared to sell one of their brightest young stars after gaining promotion to the Premier league last month.
However, Newcastle haven’t given up hope that Taylor will be playing in black and white stripes come the start of the new season.
The player, for his part, is understood to be keen on a move to St James’s Park, and Swansea must weigh up whether they can afford to keep an unhappy player on their books.
In a statement on the club’s official website, Jenkins said: “We recognise Neil as a young, talented Welsh player that has an important role to play at this club.
“We brought him here from Wrexham and have helped nurture his development. He adjusted very well to the Championship last season and we look forward to seeing him play a big role as we enter the Premier League. That is why we have rejected Newcastle’s bid.”
I spoke to Neil’s agent today and he understands the situation.
“We have a big challenge ahead in the Premier League, but together we can maintain the progress made by this club over the last few years.”
The news will come as a blow to Magpies boss Alan Pardew, who is facing up to the possibility of Jose Enrique’s departure this summer, although Taylor was never seen as a direct replacement for the Spaniard.
In the meantime, Pardew is continuing his search for midfield reinforcements despite having already landed Frenchmen Yohan Cabaye and Sylvain Marveaux.
The pair, along with Senegal striker Demba Ba, have been snapped up in a flurry of early transfer activity at St James’ Park which has also seen skipper Kevin Nolan sold to relegated West Ham.
Newcastle have a more than passing interest in Manchester United’s Darron Gibson, who like Wigan’s Charles N’Zogbia, is also a target for derby rivals Sunderland.
The Black Cats have had a joint bid of more than £12million for the Republic of Ireland international and United team-mates John O’Shea and Wes Brown accepted, and Gibson has indicated his willingness to accept a new challenge.
However, the Magpies are also tracking the 23-year-old Derry-born player and could yet attempt to beat their neighbours to his signature.