Martins Pursued By Arsenal – Should Oba Leave Newcastle?

The big news this morning is reported in the Independent that Arsène Wenger, the Arsenal manager, wants Newcastle’s Obafemi Martins – via the release clause they revealed in Oba’s contract last week. The release amount is ₤13M so at least if he does move on – Newcastle will have made a profit on him – which is most unusual at the club.


Oba Martins

There is no doubt that Wenger thinks highly of Martins and has often expressed his admiration for the player and it would not be surprising to us if this story has some truth to it. Arsenal have identified Martins as their main transfer target this summer to replace Thierry Henry – following Henry’s £16M departure to Barcelona this week. If Martins does move to Arsenal, it will break Arsenal’s transfer record, beating the £11M paid to Bordeaux for Sylvain Wiltord in 2000.

Certainly there are multiple problems for Sam Allardyce to handle at Newcastle right now – and we have yet to hear from our £17M investment – Michael Owen – on what his plans are for the future. There have been multiple rumors over the summer that Michael is unhappy at the club but neither Owen nor his representatives have publicly said anything. We may know more on this when pre-season training starts next week.

On Martins – only last week following the armed gunman attack in Lagos, Nigeria – Oba expressed his happiness at being at Newcastle.

“I signed a contract with Newcastle and I am happy here at the club and the way the fans supported me even when I wasn’t scoring was great,”
“If I am fully fit, there is no way I will back out from playing any game for Newcastle.
But it would not be right for me to wear the shirt and play when I know that I will not be giving my best. That will be like cheating the fans. ”

With these release clauses in both Martins’ and Owen’s contracts the price is set where Newcastle must release the player – but then it is up to the player what he wants to do. Newcastle have even been reported to be willing to renew Oba’s contract – with increased terms – as long as the release clause is removed. This seems a sensible move for Newcastle and if Oba resists – that tells us something about his intentions.

Our feeling on this is simple – if either Martins or Owen want to leave Newcastle – there’s not much Newcastle can do about it – and we are sure Sam would have to move the player out. This also follows the golden rule – particularly true for those who play for Allardyce – that we only want players at Newcastle who want to be here.

If either Martins or Owen want to leave – so be it. Then Sam will need to go after some new strikers – so from a Newcastle viewpoint the sooner we hear from both Oba and Michael about their intentions at Newcastle – the better.

Comments welcome.

30 comments so far

  • Jeff

    Jun 28, 2007 at 8:35 AM

    Comment #1

    The thing is if these players have these clauses in their contracts then Newcastle must have known at some point some club would eventually activate the clause……Now Ive never heard the club actually come out and say martins has a release clause in his contract….I thought cantracts were supposed to be private… if Martins or his agent has released details isnt that breach of contract??If he has 13 million release then it should have been kept quiet until a club bid that amount then they mention its activated a clause,like wise with Owen………….Man City were spot on with Barton in the fact that he said he didnt ask to move but the club argued they didnt say anything about his release clause so that mustve been leaked by the player or his agent thats why the club refused to pay 300,000 loyalty bonus because the club argued that it was breach of contract….And in the end the toon ended up paying it………….I just hope if Owen and Martins do leave through the clauses the same thing happens to them,and the toon refuse to pay anything to them.

  • to

    Jun 28, 2007 at 8:42 AM

    Comment #2

    buy all striker for arsenal,babel,martin and owen enough.Arsenal must to take a best in baclay premier league

  • paul p

    Jun 28, 2007 at 8:43 AM

    Comment #3

    Now I think both players should stay with us as I still think they have alot to prove to us loyal fan’s who pay £482 a season, plus the away games we attend to watch them week in and week out. Michael Owen has only played a handful of games, Oba can still improve. Big things are happening at Newcastle. Rip up the contracts and offer them both new terms with the buy out clause removed. If we are to win things, we have to keep our best players. These are 2 of them.

  • steve

    Jun 28, 2007 at 8:46 AM

    Comment #4

    newcastle should fight for martins. he is a great talent, and ideally we should tie him down with a new contract. he is young and his head will always be turned, but it’s up to sam to see if he can convince him to stay.

    the release-clause is a farce. it has seriously dented our recruitment drive this summer, not knowing which, if any, of our two star strikers will be around for the new season. lets hope this release-clause rubbish is never to be repeated with our next signings.

  • Tino

    Jun 28, 2007 at 8:47 AM

    Comment #5

    Can someone pleas eexplain the logic behing buying a player for £17m, and having a release clause for £9m? Does this make business sense? If not, what does Ashley intend to ‘learn’ from Shepherd? And while we are at it, were there release clauses in Luque or Viana’s contracts?

  • craig r

    Jun 28, 2007 at 8:49 AM

    Comment #6

    The club should deliver ultimatums to these players. it is crucial that we find out what they want so we can ship them out and get some new strikers in. The longer this farce goes on the less time big sam will have to secure replacements and the less time they will have to gel with the rest of the squad. Someone should put their foot down, fast.

  • Paul Burr

    Jun 28, 2007 at 8:49 AM

    Comment #7

    I’d like Owen and Martins to stay because they have the potential to instil fear in the likes of ManU & Chelsea.


    If Oba was available for £13M right now – would you go for him? Maybe – maybe not.

    If Owen was available for £9M today, or January (after he has proven his fitness) – which would you choose?

    We made a £1.5M profit from selling Parker. We’ve got £10M back from Owen’s overheads. Add a potential £13M for Oba – and financially, things don’t look too bad.

    Methinks, as long as Taylor and Given stay – who goes isn’t really a big deal – as long as we replace them wisely.

  • A geordiedoonsooth

    Jun 28, 2007 at 8:51 AM

    Comment #8

    I would snap Arsenal’s hands off £13m for a player that can’t trap a bag of wet cement. He’s fast but is no Malcol MacDonald.
    We could get at least 1 top class player for £13m

  • john75

    Jun 28, 2007 at 8:54 AM

    Comment #9

    Paul P – Spot on there. Offer Martins and Owen new contracts, on better terms if necessary, it’s not like we can’t afford it and then see where they’re loyalty lies. If they don’t take them, then lets cash in on them both and get players who want to be with us. Really hope they both stay, but they’re not the only good strikers out there. I know I am biased, but at the minute, Newcastle seems like a better option than Arsenal, where everything seems to be up in the air and no-one seems to know whats going on. Maybe the Gooners are on a bit of a slide at the minute and will not be the same force next season, especialy if Wenger does not get his own future sorted out.

  • Gary

    Jun 28, 2007 at 8:54 AM

    Comment #10

    If any player on the books expresses any desire to leave, then I say get rid of them. Theres nothing that can be done about the current contracts and they may not be willing to sign new ones. Sam is doing well in the transfer market at the moment and he hasn’t really started spending yet. If the story of £50m is true, plus £13m for Oba, we should be able to find a few players who want to be with us.

    Onwards and Upwards from now on.

  • Tony_D

    Jun 28, 2007 at 9:00 AM

    Comment #11

    Oba is good, but I wouldn’t say he is good enough to replace Henry.

    We really need to find out Oba’s and Owens intentions ASAP so that they can be replaced. I don’t like the idea of starting the season with the current attacking force minus Oba & Owen

  • James

    Jun 28, 2007 at 9:04 AM

    Comment #12

    Love Oba but cannot keep the ball always loses it,but i do not understand these clauses stupid freedy shepard

  • Ed Harrison

    Jun 28, 2007 at 9:06 AM

    Comment #13

    Tony D – agree – Oba is a completely different type of player than Henry who was blessed with sublime skills.

  • Chris

    Jun 28, 2007 at 9:11 AM

    Comment #14

    Oba is a completely different player than Henry. Oba is an out and out striker. Whereas Henry is a play maker.

  • paul p

    Jun 28, 2007 at 9:15 AM

    Comment #15

    Say we did sell Oba and Owen (hopefully they wont of course), who would you want to replace them?? Torres??

  • Greg B

    Jun 28, 2007 at 9:17 AM

    Comment #16

    Martins, while not having a fantastic season, did show that he has got massive potential. He had a decent season considering it was his first year in the Prem (and the fact that he is 38 years old! ;))
    Id hope Sam does all he can to keep Martins, and if he is being honest (unlike his version of the gun attack) it sounds like he wants to stay.

    As for Owen, the longer this goes on the less I like the bloke. He has had many, many oportunities to say if he wants to stay or not and each time has refused to answer questions about the subject, which to me would suggest at the very least he is considering leaving.
    Being realistic, surely Allardyce must have said ‘are you staying or not’. If he had said ‘yes’ id presume it would be all over the back pages, same if he said no. I bet he is playing the ‘i dont know yet’ card, waiting to see if any better options come up in the next few weeks.
    If nowt arises then I bet we get a ‘I am happy to stay’ press release. This has gone on too long now and whatever the lad says you can bet his heart is no longer at the Toon!

  • Doctapaul

    Jun 28, 2007 at 9:19 AM

    Comment #17

    Wenger transformed the young Henry from a winger into a free running, goal scoring, striker whose record is on par to surpass Shearer had he stayed in the PL. So saying Henry is a play maker is a bit of an understatement methinks.

    If Wenger were to develop Oba in the same fashion – then who knows how good he can become.

  • Jeff

    Jun 28, 2007 at 9:26 AM

    Comment #18

    Greg B….I agree with you about Owen,the longer it drags on you can see what he is doing……….And yeah if no one comes in for him he will make a press statement saying he was always going to stay………….I always rated Owen,and with this situation Ive always said he shouldnt have to make a statement because I didnt think it wouldve went on as long…………He should come out and say something now…………….If he does leave his reputation will be tarnished forever,not just at the toon but all over the world………..One thing though…..if none of the top 4 come in for him……….could you see him leaving for any other club??I cant… of man city or west ham coming in thats all it is Talk!!!!1

  • LiamBirchy8

    Jun 28, 2007 at 9:30 AM

    Comment #19

    If one leaves we must buy the release clause out of the other’s contract. I also think that Sam will replace Owen or Martins with Smith and Rigters!

  • […] other striker Oba Martins amazingly has a similar release clause – thought to be 13M. We reported today that Arsenal are pursuing Martins as a replacement for Henry via this release clause. So […]

  • stacey

    Jun 28, 2007 at 9:55 AM

    Comment #21

    i dont think oba should leave ad least he has cum owt and said he wants to stay at this club. but on the other hand owen has said nothing i dont think hes commited enough to stay at newcastle….. do newcastle and the fans really want a player who dosent want to be here.? and as alot of people have been sayin offer martins a new contract coz he clearly wants to stay at the club..he has show tht he loves the fans and the club…..KEEP OBA MARTINS..!!!!!!!!

  • Soren

    Jun 28, 2007 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #22

    Martins must stay! And Sam and Mike should fight for him to stay. He’s a future striker, and has loads of potential. Owen I think is going nowhere, because no one is bidding for him, and he still has something to prove at Newcastle.

  • Ed W

    Jun 28, 2007 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #23

    For me if Martins leaves it is a travesty! Personally think he is one of the rawest talents in the premierhip who can win games at the drop of a hat! (i.e. spurs, tallin, blackburn) Think it will be even worse than when Woodgate left.. and will come back to severely haunt us!

  • […] big news to day is that Arsene Wenger would like to take Oba Martins to Arsenal as a replacement for Thierry […]

  • Guy

    Jun 28, 2007 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #25

    I curse FS every time martins or owen is linked with another club – its going to be a very long summer if we can’t get rid of those clauses.

    It’s truly infuriating that the indpendent can come up with this story with no new evidence, they just had an empty back page and decided Arsenal need a striker and Wenger showed an interest in Martins in his programme notes back in January therefore martins is going to arsenal. This has now started a media circus that will take days to die down when there has been no contact between the clubs and no comment from arsenal!

    bottom line is we should keep oba he’s only 22 and already nearly a 20 goal a season striker (in a pretty average team last year). Anyway we’ve just got 10m from the owen compensation, a new and bigger sponsorship deal and we’ve just been taken over by a billionaire – I don’t really think we need the money even if it is a 3m profit.

  • nightfall

    Jun 28, 2007 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #26

    i personally don’t want to see oba leave…but if arsenal does get him, i hope we can get theo in exchange… ‘cos theo is exactly what we need…owen and a.lennon…all in 1 🙂

  • […] big news today is that Arsene Wenger would like to take Oba Martins to Arsenal as a replacement for Thierry […]

  • Outlaw

    Jun 28, 2007 at 4:27 PM

    Comment #28

    If we sell Oba – we must be f*&^^&*ing stupid! He was one of our best players last season. Goal stats even show that – phoaw and also that class shot against Spurs. Damn!

  • nightfall

    Jun 28, 2007 at 7:17 PM

    Comment #29

    oba and owen…those are both world-class strikers…it would be a shame to lose them for “change”… to avoide losing them we have couple of choices…we can offer them new contracts (asap) or we can try to sign dein (if dein doesn’t return to arsenal, wenger might find another target and leave the club later on), but if oba is leaving…exchange him for a few arsenal yougsters (theo, a. traore,…).

  • arsenal 4 life

    Jul 10, 2007 at 10:12 PM

    Comment #30

    please matins should go to arsenal and win thing he has no hope in newcastle and will become the new henry he will play better there which is more better for him . I am a nigeria and would want the best for my brother .


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