Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Wijnaldum focused on survival, not Newcastle future

SoccerNews in English Premier League 6 Apr 2016

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Georginio Wijnaldum is refusing to discuss his Newcastle United future until the end of the season and would not say whether he has a clause in his contract allowing him to leave if they are relegated from the Premier League.

Netherlands international Wijnaldum join from PSV on a five-year contract in July 2015 and he has been one of the brighter notes of a hugely disappointing campaign for Newcastle.

A last-gasp 3-2 defeat at relegation rivals Norwich City plunged Rafael Benitez’s side deeper into trouble, Martin Olsson striking the decisive goal at Carrow Road after Aleksandar Mitrovic twice equalised for the visitors.

The loss left Newcastle six points adrift of safety with just seven matches remaining, but Wijnaldum insists his focus is on helping the team survive and not his own future.

“Do I have a clause that I could leave after relegation? I do not give information about what is in my contract,” he told Metro XL.

“I do not think about the end of the season. I focus on the upcoming matches.

“The club is working hard to put everything in a row, and I am confident that it will be okay.”

Benitez remains winless in three league matches since replacing dismissed predecessor Steve McClaren.

Wijnaldum expressed sympathy for McClaren, but conceded managerial changes are part and parcel of football.

“I am sorry, but that’s football,” he added. “Players are not fired, and that is sometimes unfair.

“Rafa Benitez is looking for the right balance and wants to play more compact.”

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