Rosenburg’s Veiled Invitation To Newcastle

Rosenborg central midfielder Per Ciljan Skjelbred, who Newcastle were reported to be interested in earlier this week, is due to sign a contract extension with the club.


 Per Ciljan Skjelbred – 21 year-old Newcastle United supporter

On the surface, you would think that would dismiss any possibility of an imminent move to Newcastle United, but that doesn’t look the case to us, when you look at what has been said.

First of all, Per’s current contract has just 18 months to run, and any club wanting to buy him may use this as a leverage to get the transfer fee down.

So it’s within the Rosenburg club’s best interests, whatever happens, to have Per sign a new contract – there’s absolutely no harm in doing that and it’s a protection for Rosenburg.

The player’s agent said yesterday that Newcastle United had not formally made an approach yet, but then mischievously added that the player would consider a move if it was on the table.

The Norwegian club’s Sporting Director, Erik Hoftun, has in fact said that if a big offer came in for their rising star, they may consider letting him leave. Notice the emphasis we have given there to big and may.

But Hoftun said that the youngster’s intention was to stay at the Norwegian club, and that he will be signing a contract extension within two weeks.

Two weeks should give Newcastle ample time to make an offer, if indeed they are really interested in the player, who has been a Newcastle United supporter since he was a child.

Hoftun told Dagbladet yesterday:

“The situation looks good. He has not signed yet, but we expect him to sign within the next 14 days,”

“Per is a player we would like to keep. The day a club table a lot of money for him, we will consider it.”

Skjelbred, 21, has come through the ranks at Rosenburg, and as of March, 2007, had made 35 league appearances for the club since making his debut in 2004. He has played at least 5 times for Norway.