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Monaco are ready to end Jean Alain Boumsong's Newcastle United misery by taking the £8.5m defender back home to France.


But United's former European opponents are only prepared to pay £3m for the French international.


However, the biggest stumbling block will be the wages Boumsong picks up at St James' Park, where he still has three years of his contract to run.


For there is no way Monaco can match Boumsong's £35,000 a week salary and the 26-year-old central defender would have to take a big cut in his earnings if he is going to return to France.


Glenn Roeder has told Boumsong he need not report for training with the rest of the United squad until Friday, July 28 so that he can have a family holiday after being on duty with France in the World Cup.


And while on holiday the former Rangers defender certainly has plenty to mull over in terms of whether to stay at St James' Park or not, especially as he must know deep down that he will be behind Titus Bramble, Steven Taylor and Craig Moore in the pecking order.


Meanwhile, while United had left the door open for Jonathan Woodgate to return to St James' Park, that door has now been slammed shut as far as the new season is concerned.


Woodgate is determined to prove to new Real Madrid boss Fabio Capello that he can finally overcome the thigh injury which has plagued him at the Bernabeu Stadium since he moved to Spain from United two years ago for a massive £13.5m.


The England international has only managed to start nine league games for Real Madrid since then and, quite frankly, the last thing United would want at the moment is a player who spends more time in the treatment room than out on the pitch.


Roeder has plenty of problems before a ball has been kicked but he is still hoping to


strengthen a midfield which will be without Kieron Dyer at the start of the season with Fulham's Steed Malbranque.


There was talk today that the Belgian-born French international was considering staying at Craven Cottage, but this can be discounted.


For I am hearing from West London that Fulham boss Chris Coleman is making Malbranque train with the kids and that he is considering sending his want-away midfielder with the club's youth team on a trip to Norway.


There was some good news for Roeder today when Shola Ameobi returned to training, and could yet be available for Saturday's InterToto tie with Lillestrom at St James' Park.


The second leg is in Norway a week on Saturday and United have been told provisionally that the game will have a 4pm start over there - 3pm back here.

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for 3mil id take their hand off!



We already experienced with that, with Viana and Robert... :(

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