JAMES Tavernier insists he wants to stay at Newcastle United and break into Alan Pardew’s first team.
The young defender was one of only a handful of reserve players who were spared the axe when the Magpies revealed their released list last week.
Tavernier was instead offered a new contract, having impressed sufficiently during his loan spells at MK Dons, Carlisle United and Sheffield Wednesday.
Sheff Wed are interested in signing the player on a permanent deal, but having been called into the United first-team squad at the end of last season, Tavernier insists he wants to remain on Tyneside and push for a first-team place.
“I want to stay at Newcastle - it’s obviously a massive club,” he said.
“At the moment it’s between the club, myself and my agent, but I want to be here.
“My main aim is to have a really good pre-season and make sure the manager knows that I’m playing well, and hopefully I can keep in his thinking for next season.
“Obviously there’s going to be more games next season with the Europa League, and hopefully that means more chances for all of us in the squad.”
Tavernier was recalled early from his loan spell at MK Dons as injuries started to hit Pardew’s squad at the end of last season, and the United boss had no hesitation in naming the 20-year-old on the bench.
Pardew is a big fan of the right-back - who could find his opportunities boosted if Danny Simpson refuses to sign a new contract - with the magpies manager going on record to say how impressed he’s been with the player’s progress.
“It was great to hear the manager saying those things about you,” added Tavernier.
“It gives you so much inspiration when you hear the manager praising you, but there is still a lot of hard work to do, and I know next season is a very big one for me personally and for the club as a whole.”