Newcastle boss Keegan admits Taylor deal not priority

Newcastle boss Kevin Keegan has hinted that whilst renewing the contracts of players close to the expiration of their current deals 'is not a priority', he does see 'leadership qualities' in one such individual in Steven Taylor.

The 22-year-old centre back rejected a new five-year deal in September because he was not happy with the terms offered by The Magpies, and he was subsequently linked with Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham and West Ham.

"Anything like that won't even be considered by myself for a while and that's no disrespect to any players who have contract problems," said Keegan of the ongoing issue about Taylor's future.

"I have other priorities, but I'm sure we can sort it out. I like Steven Taylor - I think he's got leadership qualities in the making.

"There's not a lot of experience at the back, apart from Shay Given in goal. On the right, there's Stephen Carr, but elsewhere there are players who are still learning The Premiership.

"But I thought Taylor was tremendous against Bolton last weekend, and I've been very impressed with him every time I've seen him play for a long time now.''

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