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Boro bid to hijack Steed move

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Middlesbrough are trying to hijack Newcastle United's bid to bring French international Steed Malbranque to St James' Park.


Glenn Roeder has identified the Fulham midfielder as one of his close season targets and he will be concerned about Middlesbrough's move.


And he will be more concerned that Boro's new boss Gareth Southgate has aban-doned his television duties at the World Cup in Germany to try and snatch Malbranque (pictured) from under United's noses.


The word from Fulham is that they would accept £3.5m for Malbranque and that they have already earmarked the money for a couple of signings of their own.


West Ham and Everton are also interested in Malbranque, but I understand reports that Liverpool were ready to offer him Champions League football next season will not materialise.



However, one player who will be back in the Champions League next season is former United striker Craig Bellamy after Blackburn Rovers agreed to sell him to Liverpool for £6m today.


The Chronicle revealed last month that Bellamy had a £6m sell-on case in his contract when he left St James' Park for Ewood Park 12 months ago.


Rovers boss Mark Hughes has offered Bellamy a new £50,000-a-week deal but the 26-year-old striker has turned this down for less money at Anfield, so keen is he to play for Liverpool.


"We have made it crystal clear to Craig and his advisors that we want him at Ewood Park," Blackburn chairman John Williams said.


"We made him an improved offer before Liverpool declared their interest."


Meanwhile, United have agreed to play PSV Eindhoven a in a pre-season friendly at St James' Park on July 29.


The game will have a tea-time kick-off because Roeder does not want to risk a 3pm start in hot conditions.


United will also play a second top continental club in pre-season and, with Italian football in such a dodgy state at the moment, they are now looking at Spanish opposition.

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Being in Europe and being able to fill our ground should swing it in our favour tbh.



Us being NUFC and them being Boro should swing it for us!


If we ever compete for a player with the smogs providing the clubs both match the fee and wages, nothing short of the player beign a smog fan is going to stop us winnign the race. Just the same as if we go against manu it would only be a gerodie like Shearer who would likely choose us over them!

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