'Love it' - Sunderland starlet Chris Rigg reacts to Newcastle United contract announcement

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Sunderland midfielder Chris Rigg has reacted to one of his England Under-17 team-mates signing his first professional contract at Newcastle United.

Newcastle United and England youth defender Leo Shahar signed his first professional contract at the club this month.

The 17-year-old joined Newcastle after leaving Wolverhampton Wanderers last summer and has since made an impact for the club’s Under-18s and Under-21s sides.

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After signing his first professional contract, the right-back told the club website: “Seeing the likes of Trippier and Livramento playing well for the first-team makes me want to thrive and try to get into a similar position that they are in.

“The fans love those two and I want to push on to try and get into that spot. I’m going to work as hard as I can everyday on the training pitch to get to that spot.”

Shahar also took to Instagram to post an image of himself signing with the caption: “First professional contract ❤️ @nufc.”

The youngster’s post gained plenty of support from a number of his Newcastle academy and England youth team-mates, including Sunderland’s Chris Rigg.

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Both Rigg and Shahar have been called up to the England Under-17s squad for the upcoming European Under-17s Championships in Cyprus later this month.

Rigg made 21 Championship appearances for Sunderland during the 2023-24 campaign and has attracted plenty of interest from Premier League clubs, including Newcastle United and Manchester United.

Reacting to Shahar’s new contract, he commented: “Love it.”

Rigg is still on an academy scholarship at Sunderland and can’t sign a professional contract until he turns 17 next month. As a result, clubs could swoop in and offer him a professional contract without paying an official transfer fee.

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While Newcastle have been long-term admirers of Rigg, the guarantees of regular first-team football at Sunderland mean he is likely to agree his first professional contract at the Stadium of Light this summer.

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