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Toon in £1.5m Faye bid

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Sam Allardyce is closing in on a £1.5million deal for Bolton midfielder Abdoulaye Faye.


Allardyce successfully converted Faye to a defender during his time at Bolton and his versatility will prove an asset at St James' Park.


The Newcastle boss has injury concerns and is still waiting to find out if Kieron Dyer and Nolberto Solano are to stay, with West Ham keen on both.


Bolton do not want to sell Faye to Allardyce but Newcastle's offer is the best so far for the 29-year-old Senegalese, whose contract is up next season. New boss Sammy Lee has brought in cover by completing a &1m deal for Portsmouth's Andy O'Brien.

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According to the Times he will have a medical wednesday.


Allardyce close to completing deal with Faye as Newcastle go on defensive


George Caulkin


Abdoulaye Faye is expected to undergo a medical on Tyneside today before a proposed £2 million transfer from Bolton Wanderers to Newcastle United. Sam Allardyce remains keen to bolster his playing resources further before the closure of the transfer window and versatility is a key requirement for the manager, who is also in pursuit of Phil Neville, of Everton.


Faye, signed by Allardyce for Bolton from Lens in 2005 as a midfield player, made the majority of his 29 league starts last season as a centre half and the Senegal international would offer cover for a squad lacking defensive strength in depth. The same would apply to midfield if, as expected, Kieron Dyer and Nolberto Solano depart St James’ Park this month.


Neville would offer similar qualities, albeit at a higher cost, but Allardyce’s interest will not be welcomed or encouraged at Goodison Park, where the 30-year-old is club captain and has a long-term contract.


He may be flattered by Newcastle’s advances, but Neville will not agitate to leave a club building a squad to compete in the Uefa Cup this season.


Other alternatives beckon for Allardyce, although money is proving a stumbling block in Newcastle’s negotiations with Paris Saint-Germain over Mario Yepes, until recently a teammate of David Rozehnal, the Czech Republic defender who joined Newcastle for £2.9 million in June. The French club are haggling for a fee of up to £1.5 million for Yepes, a 31-year-old defender regarded by Allardyce as a potential free transfer.


The manager has organised a behind-closed-doors friendly with Gretna, the Scottish Premier League club, today as Michael Owen eases back towards full fitness before Newcastle’s match at home to Aston Villa on Saturday. The England striker appeared for 59 minutes of a reserve-team friendly match against Newcastle Blue Star on Monday night.


Owen suffered a minor tear to a thigh during preseason and missed his club’s opening-day victory away to Bolton last weekend. Should his come-back continue successfully, he will hope for a place on the substitutes’ bench for the evening kick-off against Villa and may still be selected for England’s friendly fixture against Germany at Wembley a week today.


Another player yet to experience competitive football for Newcastle is Joey Barton, their £5.8 million summer signing from Manchester City, who suffered a metatarsal injury last month. Yet the midfield player, encumbered by crutches and still troubled by off-field issues, was present at the Reebok Stadium to witness his new side’s impressive 3-1 win. He is itching to repay the club’s loyalty.


“I was in a bit of discomfort at the game because of my injury, but I wanted to come to support the lads and show that we are all in this together as a squad,” Barton said. “I just wanted to be about the place with the rest of the lads because sometimes you do not feel part of it when you are injured. And it was great. I have to say that we were a different class against Bolton and in a lot of aspects of our play we were brilliant.


“I know it’s not going to happen, but I would love to be out there playing with them next week. To tell the truth, I was gutted not to be playing at Bolton. I’ve won there a lot and scored a goal or two, and it’s one of my favourite grounds. When we were driving to the ground, I was telling my mate what I would have been doing � like having a cup of tea and reading the programme, then having a rub-down and getting my kit on. He had to say, ‘hold on, you are not playing’.


“Actually, I am all right when I am playing but I am a bad and nervous watcher. But having said that, I was jumping up and down every time we scored.”


Good move tbh. He give us cover in defence and in the midfield holding role.

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Senegal international Abdoulaye Faye is set to leave Bolton before the end of August, BBC Sport understands.


The 29-year-old has been strongly linked with a move to Newcastle where he would be reunited with former Trotters boss Sam Allardyce.


Faye arrived at the Reebok Stadium during the 2005/2006 season from French club Lens and was utilised as a defensive midfielder.


Last season, Faye played predominantly in central defence.


The 6ft 2in player began his career with Senegal outfits ASEC Ndiambour and Jeanne d'Arc before moving to Lens.


After a spell at French club Istres he joined Bolton on loan in the summer of 2005 before sealing a permanent deal in December of that year.

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From 2005:


Bolton manager Sam Allardyce has named Abdoulaye Faye as the club's most influential player this season.


The Senegal midfielder was a virtual unknown when he pitched up at the English Premiership this summer on loan from Lens.


But Allardyce says Faye has taken advantage of the absence of Ivan Campo to earn a place in the first team.


"He is showing he can hack it at this level," Allardyce said.


"We had to rely on our scouts' reports to make sure he was the sort of player we would want to come and play in the Premiership.


"I'm glad to say he looks very comfortable, he's starting to make a big contribution for us.


"He has been outstanding in every match he played in this season.


"From my point of view he is our best player and is looking comfortable in front of the back four."


Bolton look set to offer Faye a long-term deal and he is pleased to be here.


"English football really suits my style of play," he told Bolton's official website.


"The physical nature of the game and the pace of the game gives you a real buzz.


"Playing in the holding role is good for me. I'm told to do a specific job and that's what I try to do." Faye is expected to play a key role for his country at next year's African Cup of Nations finals in Egypt.

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Sammy Lee claims Abdoulaye Faye did not feature for Bolton at Fulham because of concerns over his lack of focus.



Faye is thought to be on the verge of joining Newcastle for £2million and his absence from The Trotters' squad at Craven Cottage appeared to suggest the Senegal international was on his way out of the club.



However, Lee insists Faye remains a Bolton player and was left out against Fulham over fears the speculation has unsettled the defender.


"He is still a Bolton Wanderers footballer as far as I am concerned," Lee said in The Bolton News.



"I didn't think it was right to take him to Fulham. His mind might not be focused on the job in hand."

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Toon Gaffer Confirms Faye Talks


By Craig Hope


SAM Allardyce believes that there is room for at least one more new signing before the end of August and confirmed that the Magpies have been in talks with Bolton over a move for Abdoulaye Faye.


The Senegal star has been heavily linked with a switch to Tyneside in the written press in recent days, and Big Sam confirmed on Thursday that the two clubs had been in negotiation over the transfer of the 29-year-old.


And, with Kieron Dyer having completed his move to West Ham, the Toon boss says that the club have to be ready to act quickly should the right player become available.


"We have been in talks with Bolton over Abdoulaye Faye but I'm not sure how far along they are," said the former Trotters chief.


"There's certainly room for one more and I'll have to speak with the chairman and the owner and take it from there.


"If one more came in and no more went out then I'd be happy.


"We are looking for more players so we're still going to spend some more money.


"Quite how much I'm not sure about and not bothered about because all I'm asking is that when a good player becomes available we don't hesitate.


"That could happen at anytime at this stage of the season and we have to be ready should the right player become available."



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