Griffin set for new Toon deal
By Mark Kendall & Graeme Bailey. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Newcastle United are set to hand a new contract to defender Andy Griffin.
The 24-year-old's current deal expires at the end of the season, but talks have now begun over new terms.
"I am happy that there are to be talks about a new contract when my current one runs out at the end of June," said Griffin.
"I am extremely happy here - and why would I want to go anywhere else?
"This is one of the biggest clubs in the country and we proved last season that we can compete with the best clubs in Europe."
Meanwhile, Sir Bobby Robson has been handed a timely boost with the news that both Kieron Dyer and Jonathon Woodgate are close to first-team returns.
The England internationals have been missing for several weeks with hamstring and hernia problems respectively, and the Magpies have sorely missed the duo.
Woodgate's return to fitness could not have come at a better time with Robson set to be without the services of Andy O'Brien in the near future through suspension after his dismissal at Chelsea.
Woodgate last played against Bolton in September, while Dyer has been sidelined for nearly a month with his problem.
Robson revealed that both players should feature in a reserve-team outing against West Brom next Monday, and could be in contention for the club's Uefa Cup second leg against Basle the following Thursday if they come through unscathed.
"We decided to give Woodgate another week after he thought he was fit just to be safe, and Kieron is getting better," said the St James' Park supremo.
"Luckily they are both naturally fit boys who don't need too much work to get up to speed."