Updated: Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Magpies close to completing Keller deal

(I spotted this coming across the wire from England. Hopefully it will shed a little bit of light on the controversy out in Tempe.-IO)

Newcastle United hope to complete the £10million transfer of Arizona State quarterback
Sam Keller
(HT:The Wiz) by the end of the day.

With Shearer and Owen out of the picture, Newcastle sets its sights on Keller to run the attack.

Magpies boss Glenn Roeder is confident of landing the 21-year-old Arizonan
despite reports that Portsmouth have attempted to hijack his move.

Club officials were in America today putting the final touches to the deal and
hope to return with the player within the next 24 hours.

Roeder said: 'We have got club officials out there today in Tempe trying to
tie the deal up.

'I think we are virtually there with an agreement with the player, the club
and agents.

'There is quite a bit of paperwork to be done today and we will be rushing
around trying to get that all signed up so that hopefully, either very late
tonight or first thing in the morning, we can bring Keller back with us.

'It's too early to say, `Yes, he's signed up' because officially, he has not.
But we are very positive over what's going to happen by the end of play

Asked about Pompey's reported intervention, he added: 'I never worry about
speculation at all. I only concern myself with what we are doing.

'As far as I am concerned, as long as the paperwork goes through today, he
will be our man and not only Portsmouth, but any other club, will have to look
elsewhere for a striker.'

Newcastle confirmed yesterday they had agreed a fee with ASU for a player
Roeder has been tracking for much of the summer.

He and chairman Freddy Shepherd have considered a series of options as they
look to add firepower following the retirement of Alan Shearer and Michael
Owen's serious knee injury.

Darren Bent, Jermain Defoe and Dirk Kuyt all warranted serious consideration,
but Keller looks to be their man.

Shola Ameobi played as a lone striker in the 2-1 Premiership victory
over Wigan on Saturday, but is struggling with hip and hamstring injuries ahead
of tomorrow night's UEFA Cup qualifier against Latvian side Ventspils.

Keller's arrival - he could make his debut at Aston Villa on Sunday - would
give the club a huge boost as they continue their rebuilding programme.

Roeder was giving little away on his remaining targets, which are thought to
include Real Madrid midfielder Thomas Gravesen and Chelsea full-back Wayne
Bridge, but he admitted Keller is unlikely to be the last new face.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I knew there was a reason I pay for the interwebs!

10:35 PM  

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