Belfast Telegraph

Taylor signs new Magpies deal

Newcastle defender Steven Taylor has ended speculation over his future by finally signing a new five-and-a-half-year contract.

The 24-year-old, who was born in Greenwich but raised on Tyneside, was transfer-listed earlier in the season after talks over a new deal stalled. However, both Taylor and new manager Alan Pardew had confirmed in recent days that progress had been made and the announcement will keep the academy graduate at St James' Park until the summer of 2016.

The defender said: "I am absolutely delighted to have agreed terms with the club on a new long-term contract that will see me play for Newcastle United in my prime years. I joined the club as a boy and feel confident that I can fulfil all my professional ambitions here at my hometown club."

He added: "Throughout the past few months, I have never lost hope that everything could be sorted and that I could stay here and play for this fantastic football club.

"I would like to thank the fans for their support throughout the contract negotiations and I'll look to repay them with my performances in the black and white shirt.

"Also (I would like to thank former boss) Chris Hughton for bringing me back into the team, Alan Pardew who made it clear from day one that he wanted me to stay at the club, the board and management for their willingness to work together to find an agreement and finally my agent Paul Stretford for always having my best interests at heart."

Taylor becomes the third Newcastle player to sign a long-term deal in a matter of weeks, following in the footsteps of Mike Williamson and Nile Ranger, with striker Andy Carroll having earlier also committed his future to the club.

Former England Under-21 skipper Taylor has made 177 appearances for the club but looked to be heading away from Tyneside when his contract talks reached an impasse.

Several Premier League rivals were understood to be monitoring his situation, and this news will come as a boost to Pardew who is desperate to keep the first team he inherited from Hughton together and add to it if possible.

The manager said: "I've always really admired Steven Taylor and I thought it was imperative that we kept him here. He's still young, he's a Geordie and he's a top defender."

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