Shearer to assist Newcastle for one more season

Alan Shearer will extend his contract until the end of the 2004-05 season. The Newcastle captain would have signed his extension earlier but talks were put on hold following the death of chairman Freddy Shepherd's mother.

"I haven't signed it yet, but it's all been agreed and I hope and am confident that we can get it done," said Shearer. "But we're hopeful that it can be done. It's all been agreed." The news is a boost for Newcastle boss Sir Bobby Robson, who has seen his team suffer an early Champions League exit and make a poor start to the Premiership season. Shearer, 33, had been linked with a move away from St James' Park when his contract expired at the end of the season but he said he would almost certainly end his career with the club. "This is where I want to finish my career and this also confirms that I will do that. This will be my last contract and I am fairly sure of this. I am almost certain that it will be my last contract as a player," he said.

"I have always said that I will retire at the top. I have not made any plans for the future beyond that and I will be keeping my options open. There is nothing in the contract regarding management or coaching."

Shearer, who joined Newcastle from Blackburn for �15m in 1996, has reportedly not been asked to take a pay cut because of his loyalty to the club. The former England captain has scored 148 goals in 275 appearances for the Magpies.