Mark Viduka’s future with Newcastle United will determine if he is included in the Australian squad for next month’s World Cup qualifiers.
Mark Viduka – will Newcastle offer him new contract?
It will be touch and go with Mark at Newcastle because he’s been injured so much in his two seasons at Newcastle, where he earns £65K/week.
However, since Alan Shearer joined the club, Mark has become as fit as he’s been in a long time, and he played magnificently in Newcastle’s 3-1 win against Middlesbrough on Monday night. Mark wants to stay at Newcastle if Shearer is the new manager, because he says it’s an honor to play for the Tyneside Legend, who has reinvigorated the club in the last 7 weeks.
Vioduka was Man of the Match on Monday, and rightly so, as he give a great exhibition of how to lead the line, and the man himself, Alan Shearer, said he thought Mark was awesome.
Australian coach Pim Verbeek will delay his announcement of the Australian squad until very late, to see if he can include Mark in the squad, but this is probably the very last thing Newcastle fans want to hear.
Mark’s appeared just 10 times this season, because of a troublesome Achilles injury, and the last thing we want to see is Mark get injured – yet again – playing fro Australia. Indeed, Newcastle may only give him a one year contract if he agrees to end his international career.
But no doubt the news of Mark’s top performance on Monday has been noted by Australians, and of course he’s still one heck of a player.
Tim Verbeek said:
“We’ve spoken with him. He’s focusing entirely on his Newcastle job, he wants to keep them in the Premiership,” “We won’t make any decision, he doesn’t want to make any decision.”
“He has to find out if he wants to play another year. That’s one of the latest decisions we are going to take.” “Mark is always on the list. The (Premier) League finishes on the 24th (of May), and it’s up to him.”
“If he doesn’t want to play next season then it’s useless to take him for the June games so let’s wait for his decision and let’s wait for Newcastle.”
The 33-year-old is out of contract in the summer, and there’s a couple of options that Newcastle may offer him next season. One is a pay for play contract, so he gets so much for each match he plays, or else they may even offer him a lower wage of say £40K/week.
Whether any of this is acceptable to Mark we don’t know, but he is keen to stay at the Newcastle club. Newcastle must cut their wage bill in the summer somehow, to bring it in line with revenues at the Tyneside club.
Verbeek also said Viduka had not yet committed to the Socceroos and their World Cup matches against Qatar, Bahrain and Japan, as he concentrates 100% in the next 10 days on keeping Newcastle United in the Premier League.
We’re hoping for another top game from the Aussie on Saturday afternoon, when we entertain Fulham at St. James’ Park, in what is another must-win game.