The local media have gone with a story about a new contract for Paul Dummett this morning.
Both the Chronicle and Shields Gazette have published the same, more or less, details but on many levels it doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense.
Both newspapers say that a new contract will be offered/has been offered to Dummett and he will stay at the club (was contracted until 2017 anyway) – but the Chronicle go one step further, even though they contradict themselves in the same article…
‘Newcastle United defender Paul Dummett has signed a long-term deal with the club after impressing manager Rafa Benitez.
‘Dummett is still contracted to Newcastle until 2017, but is set to earn an improved deal and an extended contract.’
So has he ‘signed a long-term deal’ or is he ‘set to earn an improved deal’?
Either way, I can’t see why any new contract would be being agreed at this point when we all have to wait only 10 days before finding out which division Newcastle will be in next season.
If Newcastle are in the Championship next season then Paul Dummett would almost certainly do a decent job at that level.
However, if Rafa completes the miracle of keeping Newcastle in the Premier League, then surely United have to be looking at bringing in somebody a few levels up from Dummett?
Maybe there would be a case then for keeping him around as a versatile squad player who can play both full-back and centre-back but again, surely the club would be waiting until after next weekend before deciding any new contracts.
Claims that Rafa Benitez has personally backed this alleged new contract once again leave you asking why?
Surely so much rests on United’s survival, which if achieved would then leave him to find out what budget he will have in the summer before deciding on transfer priorities.
Claims of other Premier League clubs interested in buying Paul Dummett sound a bit ropey as well, he seems a canny local lad and always gives 100% but like a lot of the Newcastle team lacks the pace to play in the Premier League and gives next to nothing going forward.
I hate to say it but the idea of handing out long-term contracts at this stage, makes me think of how Newcastle ended up having both Shola Ameobi and Steven Taylor at the club for pretty much their entire careers, despite neither of them ever really convincing they deserved a regular first team spot.