Jonas believes Magpies are in safe hands

OPTIMISTIC: Jonas Gutierrez

OPTIMISTIC: Jonas Gutierrez

First published in Sport The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by

JONAS Gutierrez admits Newcastle United face a summer of uncertainty as their Premier League rivals target a number of their key players.

But having helped the Magpies secure their highest finish for eight years, the Argentinian midfielder is confident the club's rulers will make the right decisions to ensure further progress next season.

Alan Pardew has openly admitted that Newcastle face a fight to hold on to some of their prize assets this summer.

Chelsea continue to be linked with a big-money move for Cheik Tiote, Demba Ba's future is uncertain thanks to the presence of a buy-out clause in his contract and Papiss Cisse's sensational scoring form is sure to have alerted some of Europe's leading sides.

As previous events have proved, every player on the St James' Park books has their price, and Gutierrez accepts that next season's squad will not be finalised until the transfer window closes on August 31.

However, with Pardew determined to bring in signings of his own this summer, the South American insists the club's future is in safe hands.

"Now the last game is out of the way, we will have the summer to start getting excited about next season," said Gutierrez, who started all bar one of Newcastle's league matches this term. "But a lot of things can happen in the summer, as you saw last season.

"It will probably not be until the 31st of August when we know exactly where we are for next season. You have to wait until then before you can say what is going on.

"You never know in football. It is not just at this club, it is in football in general where all kinds of different things can happen. You never know when a player can go - we had that the other January with Andy Carroll.

"You never know, but I think the club did great things this year with their signings and I have confidence they will do great things again. It is a good position for us to be in."

It had looked like Danny Guthrie would be one of the first players to leave the Magpies this summer.

The midfielder, who is due to become a free agent at the end of next month, has held preliminary discussions with Aston Villa despite the offer of a new deal on Tyneside.

However, the departure of Villa boss Alex McLeish has muddied the waters at Villa Park, and Guthrie's proposed move to the Midlands is on hold.

Newcastle officials are willing to hold further talks about a new contract, but will not be improving their original offer.

And while Guthrie has spoken of a desire to secure regular first-team football, Pardew does not regard the 25-year-old as a key member of his squad.

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