Luque: Newcastle paid me ludicrous money

The much-maligned Albert Luque has admitted that the 'ludicrous amount' of money he was earning at Newcastle made it hard to leave St James' Park.

Luque, who moved to Ajax in the summer, endured a torrid time in the North East but, despite starting just six Premier League games in two seasons, he conceded his contract was just too lucrative to leave behind.

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"I earnt an incredible amount and was not willing to let it go," the 29-year-old told The People. "I was frequently linked with Spanish clubs in those two years but they couldn't meet my wage demands."

Luque admitted it was a case of 'name your price' when he was considering a move to Tyneside from Spain.

He said: "I had a talk with Freddy Shepherd and told him how much I wanted to earn. It was a ludicrous amount but he didn't bat an eyelid. They came up with an offer too good to refuse.

"I was going to earn lots and lots of money at a club I had never paid attention to before, and move to a town I knew nothing about."

Sam Allardyce took over as manager this summer and Luque looked like he could be handed yet another chance to impress but the Spain international had had enough of life in England.

He added: "Sam Allardyce told me on his first working day I deserved a genuine chance. I believed him but I was fed up with life in Newcastle. I didn't want to stay any longer.

"This summer I came to the conclusion that money is not the only thing in life. I told Newcastle's new chairman Chris Mort money was not an issue any more."

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