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Toon ready for transfer push

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Newcastle United are ready to move into the transfer market now the World Cup is finally over.


But Glenn Roeder has accepted his team for Saturday's InterToto cup tie with Lillestrom, at St James' Park, will have to come from his present squad.


In the past couple of seasons Freddy Shepherd has always been prepared to wait until July to make his move in the transfer market, and the United chairman was in Berlin last night watching the World Cup final between France and Italy.


However, I believe that reports that United are to move for the World Cup's leading scorer, Miroslav Klose, are wide of the mark, as is talk of Argentinian Aldo Duscher joining his former Deportivo La Coruna colleague Albert Luque at St James' Park.


In fact, I understand that as far as midfielders go, Roeder's No 1 target is French international Steed Malbranque, who did not make it to Germany with the eventual runners-up.


My information is that West Ham have dropped out of the race for the Fulham midfielder because his wages are out of their league and this should make it easier for United to sign the attacking midfielder.


To be fair, players' wages have never been a problem at St James' Park and indeed the opposite is the case, with United finding it difficult to ship out players on occasions because of their lucrative contracts.


West Ham are interested in James Milner, but after seeing Alan Shearer retire, Michael Owen badly injured, Michael Chopra joining Cardiff City and Lee Bowyer having returned to Upton Park, Roeder does not want any more players going out of the door before he can get some new faces in.


However, it's no secret that in an ideal world, Roeder would listen to offers for Jean Alain Boumsong and Albert Luque, while Nicky Butt's long-term future at St James' Park has to be in the balance.


As it happens, Saturday's tie with Lillestrom will see Butt involved in his first game at St James' Park since he upset United fans in the FA Cup semi-final defeat at the hands of his former club Manchester United in Cardiff's Millennium Stadium in April 2005.


United can register players up 24 hours before Saturday's 5pm kick-off


but even if Roeder does manage to bring in some new faces they will not be involved against the Norwegians.


The United boss told me today: "You cannot expect players to be lying on a beach for seven weeks and then come and play a football match straight away. What we have on Saturday is what we already have.


"And, while the players have looked good in training, they are obviously short of match practice and we will be having a couple of practice sessions this week."


Meanwhile, United have decided against following up their interest in two trialists.


Auxerre's French Under-20 striker Garra Dembele and Cambridge left-back Michael Morrison both spent time training with United.


And while they impressed during their stay, the club has elected not to pursue them any further.

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Would be good if he stopped talking about himself. Doubt he knows anything about journalism at all tbh.




I was gonna say it looks like Oliver is back off his jolly hols.

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