The Independent today is reporting that Aston Villa and Manchester City have both officially approached Newcastle United about the availability of their Nigerian International 23 year-old striker, Obafemi Martins.
Oba Martins – seems to be in big demand with Premier clubs
The report also says that Portsmouth and Tottenham Hotspur are also keeping an eye on the situation. It’s true the Nigerian did have a release clause of Â£13M in his contract during the summer. However, our understanding of the situation as espoused by Newcastle Chairman Chris Mort in August, is that the release clause is no longer valid. But the reports claim Aston Villa are prepared to pay that amount of money to get him, in any case.
Just exactly why these reports are coming up now is a little mysterious, but maybe it’s just because the transfer window has opened and old stories are being recirculated. Oba Martins has always said he is very happy at Newcastle and likes playing for Big Sam. And Oba’s even brought a lot of his family over from Nigeria to Newcastle to live in the City with him. Oba also has an excellent rapport with the Newcastle fans.
Thereâ€™s little doubt in our minds that Newcastle want to keep Oba. Yes, we do have Michael Owen available now, but Michael hasnâ€™t exactly proved he’d be available for a full season any time soon, with all his many injuries over the last 29 months. He’s started just 21 games in that time for Newcastle and scored just 10 goals.
Oba Martins has started 16 times this season for Newcastle United, and has been brought on as a substitute 7 times. Oba’s scored 7 goals in total this season and is currently Newcastleâ€™s top scorer. He has neither been booked nor sent off this season.
We have a hard time believing there’s any truth in this story, and certainly don’t believe Newcastle will sell in January, or anytime soon for that matter. We’re more in the business of bringing players to the club, rather than having any of our good players leave us.
But what do you think?
Comments very welcome.