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Scottish Mag

Moore reports back early

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Craig Moore has returned to training with Newcastle United and could even figure in Saturday's InterToto Cup with Lillestrom in Norway.


The Australian international had initially been told by Glenn Roeder to report for training yesterday after his World Cup exploits when his last game was the controversial defeat by eventual winners Italy.


But Moore actually reported on Friday and has made it clear that he is ready to get back to business with United after his successful partnership with Titus Bramble at the end of last season.


Roeder said today: "Craig is back training with us and he will be on the plane to Oslo tomorrow morning.


"We will see how he goes in training for the rest of the week and decide on Friday whether he will be involved against Lillestrom."


After spending most of last season on the treatment table nobody could fault the way Moore (pictured) came into the team and really held the defence together as United won six and picked up an away goalless draw at Birmingham City in their last seven games.


And, frankly, United did not defend that well against the Norwegian outfit in Saturday's 1-1 draw at St James' Park when they seemed to miss the calming influence of the former Ranger defender.


Meanwhile, Moore's former Ibrox colleague Jean Alain Boumsong is not due to report back for training until July 29 after spending the World Cup on the French subs' bench.


But there has to be a chance that Boumsong may not return at all if United can agree a deal with Monaco for him. I understand that Monaco, whose chief executive is Marc Keller, one of Roeder's former players at West Ham, want to take the £8.5m defender on loan.


And not only that, but they have asked United if they will pay half his £35,000-a-week wages.


I can only guess that Freddy Shepherd gave them a flea in their ears and the ball is very much back in Boumsong and Monaco's court.


Meanwhile, Robbie Elliott is not allowed to play for United in the InterToto because he has not signed a new contract.

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