Nicky Butt Could Leave For Wigan On Free Transfer

What happens in January if some of your good players have contracts that run out in the summer, and they have not been signed up to new contracts?

Nicky Butt – fancies joining Wigan Athletic?

Other clubs come after them and they are allowed to talk to the players, and perhaps agree to deals that will be executed in the summer, and that’s the situation Newcastle United are in with seven players of their first team squad.

And news today that Wigan Athletic manager Steve Bruce is keen to sign Nicky Butt in January. Of course the Geordie manager was manager of Birmingham when Nicky went there on loan for a season, in 2005-2006, and played for Birmingham 24 times with 3 goals.

The deal was for Nicky to sign for them at the end of that season but Birmingham were relegated and Nicky came back to Tyneside and has done very well since then.

Nicky will be able to open negotiations with rival clubs next month and can move on a lucrative free transfer at the end of the season.

With the Newcastle Board saying nothing, and apparently doing nothing on the contract front, you can hardly blame the players for taking up their option of listening to offers next month.

It would be in Wigan’s best interests to do the deal at the end of the season to get Nicky on a free transfer with a signing-on fee. But their option is also to get him in January, just to make sure, and pay a small transfer fee.

Kinnear will want to keep the vastly experienced Butt, but the midfielder is a former team-mate of Bruce at Manchester United and still has a house in Cheshire, and has already played for Steve for a season at Birmingham. So there is some momentum and sense for this move, at least from Nicky’s viewpoint.

But it shows again that the current Newcastle Board seem to have no idea how to run a football club, and the nightmare scenario, for Newcastle fans, is that some of our players will either leave in January or sign pre-contract agreements and move in the summer.

That will become more and more likely as the Newcastle club continue to do nothing on the contract front.

What are the Newcastle United Board doing these days?   Certainly not their job, and they’re not letting their customers (fans) or players know anything at all about what’s going on.

What a way to run a football club.   🙁

63 comments so far

  • andy1

    Dec 10, 2008 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #1

    As long as he doesn’t go before the end of the season I think it is ok. He is a good, experienced player but he has a year left at most at the top level. We should have the chance in the summer to bring in someone in their prime and perhaps also an up and coming player. I think any new defensive midfielder should probably also be over 6ft if possible because the team obviously lacks height.

  • ToonLoon

    Dec 10, 2008 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #2

    What did he sing for them in the end then 😉

  • The Entertainers

    Dec 10, 2008 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #3

    This is madness!

    I sometimes think i’m in the minority when it comes to evaluating Butt.

    I understand he can give the ball away a bit too much for a player of his calibre, but he is the only player in our squad who can do the DM position fully (I believe Guthrie can become that type of player).

    Butt has got another season at least in him and yes come the summer would love another DM and keep Butt as back up.

    The lad is quality and deserves more respect than he often gets on this site.

  • Thelongshanks

    Dec 10, 2008 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #4


  • Ian

    Dec 10, 2008 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #5

    Well I couldnt believe it when we didnt give Sibierski a two year deal, good central midfielder who can double as a striker and actually scores goals, but he was old and finished etc etc, he was cheap reliable and scored.

    Butt is still our best central midfielder, he scores and doesnt get nerves in big games, we should sign him for another year now, not mess about again.

    Other good players should have contracts extended to, Martins always, signing good existing players keeps value on the books anyhow, Zog and Jonas should have their contracts extended too, bring some stability and future to the team.

  • Lars

    Dec 10, 2008 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #6


  • nightfall

    Dec 10, 2008 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #7

    if we get a decent replacement i say sell him… for the player of “his caliber” he should be more reliable, but he’s not…far from that…sell him and get a replacement…

  • nightfall

    Dec 10, 2008 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #8

    our central midfielders are quite week’s line up:

    beye colo basso enrique
    jonas lualua wise zog
    martins owen

  • Micky Toon

    Dec 10, 2008 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #9

    I think people’s current evaluations of our playing staff just reflect the dross that we actually have at NUFC.
    Butt was past it two seasons ago, but we can’t get anyone to replace him. It’s that bad. Butt is in the same league as Smith as far as I’m concerned.

    We have a very poor squad and our stand out players are obvious.
    If we want to be serious contenders again we have to stop being satisfied with the likes of Butt, Smith, Viduka, and Cacapa and have some balls to try and replace them.
    How we should be looking at our team is – Would the top four be happy to have them in their squads? Would the teams like Villa snap our hands off for the player? All of these teams have better squads than us. We need to stop settling for just do players.
    We have a just do manager, because we couldn’t get anyone else. If Ashley sells or not we must get in a top coach who can attract top players and not the just do shambles we currently have.
    Unfortunately we need to splash the dosh about and our current owner has short hands and deep pockets.

  • TheGoldfishBowl

    Dec 10, 2008 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #10

    Anyone who believes for a SECOND that we wont have a weaker squad after January is deluded. The time for relegation has come, and Ashley deserves to see his investment’s vakue plument due to the way he has run this club into the ground

  • Ryan Peacock

    Dec 10, 2008 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #11

    yes! butt is finished, im affraid! get a new young and exciting cmid in january to replace him!

  • Guinea Mag

    Dec 10, 2008 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #12

    No way can he leave in January; we don’t have enough cover in central midfield to start with……

    If we’re still in the PL next season, we’ll need a better/younger defensive midfield player although as a squad player I’d keep him for another year!

  • AO

    Dec 10, 2008 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #13

    ryan p- but what affordable young exciting player is going to want to join ?

  • G

    Dec 10, 2008 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #14

    Although I believe Butt is a good player, I believe he is a spent force now. He has been very error prone in keeping possetion this season, and although I feel since he came back from Brum he has been a good servant to the club, he is well past his prime. Let the lad move on and lets look for a replacement, assuming kna*cker Ashley does put his hand in his pockets.

  • Bill F (Original)

    Dec 10, 2008 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #15

    Totally agree with You Mickey. If MA still won’t splash then we might as well chuck some of the youngsters in, I quite like the look of Nightfalls team.

  • Little Willie

    Dec 10, 2008 at 11:41 AM

    Comment #16

    He can only talk to foreign clubs in January if he wants to set up a Summer move.

  • AO

    Dec 10, 2008 at 11:41 AM

    Comment #17

    all those wanting the kids thrown into a relegation battle are cluless. If that happens you will be relegated by february.

  • lesh

    Dec 10, 2008 at 11:43 AM

    Comment #18

    Is this the beginning of NUFC’s meltdown?

    Let’s hope that this so-called Board take a step back and take a long, hard look at the club and reflect what they’ve done – either by their actions or inertia!

    It’s a crying shame, a real, real shame.

  • steve

    Dec 10, 2008 at 11:44 AM

    Comment #19

    unless we sign a proven DM to replace we should keep him otherwise we’ll have to stick Beye in midfield and have Taylor play RB as per the Stoke game – that will be a certain way to get relegated!
    JK will not play any promising youngsters so you can forget that for a start

  • Ryan Peacock

    Dec 10, 2008 at 11:45 AM

    Comment #20


    jimmy bullard, lovely job ha ha

    he is younger than butty

  • Tom_Toon

    Dec 10, 2008 at 11:46 AM

    Comment #21

    I dont think we can afford to let Butt go until the summer, if he does indeed want to leave/doesn’t get offered a new contract.

    We should buy a new, young DM in Jan anyway, but we still can afford for Butt to leave in Jan.

  • Tom_Toon

    Dec 10, 2008 at 11:46 AM

    Comment #22

    Steve – Or what JFK should have done.

    Put Coloccini as a DM and Beye or Taylor at CB.

  • Nick 69

    Dec 10, 2008 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #23

    we need him until the end of the season-although only as cover as he gives the ball away far too much, gives far too many dangerous free kicks and penalties away and gets booked too much, but we dont have enough players to let him go in jan

  • Darling27

    Dec 10, 2008 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #24

    Get rid of him!!! His legs as well as his decision making have gone. He’s cost us an extra 4-5 points this season. He’s just running off his name now. If we get an attacking midfielder in we should get rid. Barton and Guthrie are already ahead of him in my book.

  • Nick 69

    Dec 10, 2008 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #25

    tom toon- thats exactly what i thought was going to happen when he brought taylor on, it was so obvious that that would be th best way to play it, colo would have been out of postion but comfortable in that postion yet instead he decied to put 3 players out of postion instead ridiculous

  • Nick 69

    Dec 10, 2008 at 11:51 AM

    Comment #26

    id get an AM and then barton as DM with guthrie as back up then id probly have geremi ahead of butt ATM

  • Tom_Toon

    Dec 10, 2008 at 11:51 AM

    Comment #27

    Nick 69 – What is even more astounding is that 2 days prior to the game JFK was commenting on how Coloccini can play the DM role.

    What an idiot he really is.

  • Tom_Toon

    Dec 10, 2008 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #28

    Barton definitely is more attacking than defensive IMO and Guthrie needs to bulk up a whole lot and not be so scared of the tackle if he wants to play the DM role.

  • AO

    Dec 10, 2008 at 11:56 AM

    Comment #29

    I’m with tomtoon. lets sign arda turan.
    ryanp- are you signing bullard? youve lost me.

  • Tom_Toon

    Dec 10, 2008 at 12:02 PM

    Comment #30

    AO – You are one sad little boy.

    Im still waiting for you to prove to me that I didn’t say that Turan was slow and overpriced.

  • AO

    Dec 10, 2008 at 12:05 PM

    Comment #31

    tomtonn wherever he maybe
    searching youtube for the next Henry
    His voice has broken now he’s started puberty
    For christmas he’s getting toy story.

  • Ausgeordie

    Dec 10, 2008 at 12:05 PM

    Comment #32

    I will not be upset if butt goes. He will probably want another two year deal but will be offered one. Wigan will offer him two but at less wages and I reckon at that point he will go. Dukes wont get a club bigger than us offering a new contract and I’d expect him to sign for another year though I dont think we should. Smith is a must go but I’d be happy to see him play a game or two as a DM alongside Barton and watch the two of them scare the crap out of the opposition to get him ready for sale. I’m happy to see a few sales actually. Harper can go. Love the guy but if he wants to play first team some where I’d wish him all the best and enjoy watching him play.

    We have solid wingers and strikers in the youth ranks who are deserving the chance to push through and hopefully Joe can see this. Lua Lua and Ranger obviously being the stand outs on form should get a spot next to Taylor on the bench.

  • Bill F (Original)

    Dec 10, 2008 at 12:07 PM

    Comment #33

    I’d rather play Lua Lua than Butt any day. I would never have a problem with playing some of the younger players although it would be a bad move to flood the team with them. Sometimes they give a lift with the extra enthusiasm and pace the can give.

  • obafem1

    Dec 10, 2008 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #34


    Finally we’re getting rid of him.


    We will finally have a younger player being given a chance, one that can run, one that doesn’t gift possession away cheaply, one whose long range passing doesn’t always run out of play, one who’s shots actually hit the target.

  • Nick 69

    Dec 10, 2008 at 12:20 PM

    Comment #35

    i agree barton is more AM but he is more than capable of playing DM and getting forward now and then to support the attack

  • Sav

    Dec 10, 2008 at 12:24 PM

    Comment #36

    Butt has won over a lot of fans after a really bad start at Newcastle. That says a lot for him and we saw last week how we need his calm head. Great to replace him if we have a top class CM. But how many of those have we had lately?
    I think the club has one year option on Nicky so his situation may not be the same as Owen’s.

  • Bill F (Original)

    Dec 10, 2008 at 12:29 PM

    Comment #37

    I still think Mickey Toon has it right, Fergy off-loaded him years ago because he wasn’t good enough for them. We should have the same standards and aspirations. If we want a ManU cast of then we should go for the young ones like Eagles.

  • Obafan

    Dec 10, 2008 at 12:34 PM

    Comment #38

    Well I would not be too bothered if he went. Week in week out I think Butt gives away the ball too often; it doesn’t matter to win a tackle if you give the ball away within 10 seconds.

    One thing which is sad; we don’t know what to expect in January and we defo need to strengthen up. If we have no replacements and we let players go then we will go down that is for sure. So even if Butt is not always that good, we need to replace him if we let him go.

  • Nick

    Dec 10, 2008 at 12:53 PM

    Comment #39

    I don’t understand the negativity shown by some people on here to playing youngsters.

    It’s the experienced, over paid, over rated has -beens who have got us in to this position, ie almost bottom of the table.

    Butt, Smith and Viduka didn’t stop brum and leeds going down respectively did they? Butt’s legs have gone and he can’t pass to another b&W shirt.

    In midfield we still have guthrie, barton to come back, NZogbia and Duff ( in the Butt category sadly.) Add LUA LUA and prmote within. Even Edgar could probably do a good job as a DM.

    If people aren’t good enough for the top 6, why are they good enough for us. That’s why we’ve ended up where we are.

    Villa, Arsenal etc have given their kids a chance (Agbonlahor etc) why not us?

    All this pathetic panic about some people leaving. I’d much rather see the kids who are on a phenomenal run at the moment, step up.

    Lua, Ranger, kadar, Krul and possibly Edgar all deserve a chance and are better than Smith, Geremi, Cacapa, Butt et al.

  • Sim

    Dec 10, 2008 at 12:58 PM

    Comment #40

    Ryan P – I’ve always said Bullard but no one will take it seriously – but why not?
    He’s exactly what you want in a centre mid.
    He’ll work back, he wants the ball and when he gets it he’s excellent – great passer and excellent shooter – He’d walk into the 1st team.
    Should have a consistent england call – plus how much will he cost? No more than £5m.
    Exactly what we need.


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