Manchester City have put contract talks with skipper Richard Dunne on hold until the end of the season.
Dunne and his representatives have been in negotiations with City for the last few months as the club look to tie down the defender to a new long-term contract.
The Republic of Ireland international has just over a year to run on his contract, fuelling speculation over his future.
Newcastle are reported to be keen on Dunne and are monitoring developments at Eastlands regarding his contract.
Despite the talks being put on the back burner City boss Sven Goran Eriksson remains confident of agreeing a new deal with Dunne.
Progress"I really don't know where we are in terms of progress on Richard's contract but with six games to go I think it is more an end-of-season discussion," Eriksson told the club's official website.
"He has a contract for one more year so it is not a pressing problem. We don't want to lose him and I am quite sure he wants to stay here."