Newcastle keep an eye on SWP as rebuilding begins

May 24, 2006

Newcastle are monitoring Chelsea winger Shaun Wright-Phillips as manager Glenn Roeder prepares his rebuilding plans.

The 24-year-old England international is one of several players identified by the 50-year-old as prospective summer signings, although the Magpies are a long way from making any move.

Roeder is due to sit down this week with chairman Freddy Shepherd to draw up a recruitment shortlist, but is aware he will have to sell before he can make any purchases.

Wright-Phillips has been a peripheral figure since his £21million move to Stamford Bridge last summer, and was the subject of an enquiry from the Magpies' before leaving Eastlands.

However, despite claiming the title in his maiden term with Jose Mourinho's team, he has largely been used as a substitute and only started 15 of the club's 53 games last season.

One of those appearances came against the Magpies in the FA Cup quarter-finals on March 22, when he was involved in Robbie Elliott's controversial dismissal.

This incident led to him being booed at every touch after he was introduced as a second-half substitute in the Blues' 1-0 league defeat at St James' Park on the final day of the campaign.

Roeder has already acknowledged his interest in Feyenoord striker Dirk Kuyt and is likely to face competition from Liverpool should he attempt to buy the Dutchman.

However, he has insisted he will watch him at this summer's World Cup finals before declaring his hand.

With the Magpies desperate to find a replacement for retired skipper Alan Shearer, speculation has already thrown up a lengthy list of names - Ruud van Nistelrooy, Mark Viduka, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Eidur Gudjohnsen, Jermain Defoe and Darren Bent are among those to have been mentioned to date, some more accurately than others.

But they will also look to strengthen in other areas with Chelsea defender Robert Huth a long-term target, and Jonathan Woodgate's future at Real Madrid a topic for debate.

Reports in France have also claimed Newcastle have spoken to Sochaux centre-back Souleymane Diawara.

Nevertheless, there will have to be departures if Roeder is to bring in his own men, with £8million Frenchman Jean-Alain Boumsong and £9.5million Spaniard Albert Luque heading a list of big-earning players who could be offloaded.