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Zenit sign Bart Simpson

The Toe Poke 8 hours ago
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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug 28, 2006

Roeder eyes another Toon striker before deadline

Newcastle boss Glenn Roeder will attempt to sign another striker before Thursday's transfer deadline.

The Magpies are keen to strengthen, even though the injury sustained on his debut by Obafemi Martins proved less serious than first feared.

Martins, a £10million from Inter Milan, was taken off on a stretcher an hour into his debut in the 2-0 Barclays Premiership defeat at Aston Villa yesterday.

Roeder was relieved to discover the injury was nothing more than a severe dead leg and Martins should be available when Fulham head for St James' Park on September 9.

However, Newcastle's lack of strength in depth remains a concern for the manager.

Shola Ameobi missed the game at Villa Park through a combination of his worryingly persistent hip problem and a sore hamstring, while £9.5million signing Albert Luque is yet to make the most of the chance to prove himself after a poor first season.

With Michael Owen expected to be sidelined for most of the campaign, Roeder is looking for another frontman, although adding to his defence remains a priority.

A commanding central defender is high on his list with Chelsea's Robert Huth a target.

The German international missed out on a £5million move to Middlesbrough when he failed a medical, and although Boro are keen to take him on loan, Newcastle have emerged as rivals.

Jonathan Woodgate's impending return to the Premiership on loan has also seen him linked with both north-east clubs.

However the Magpies are concerned about the injury history of their former player, who has managed only 14 games in two years at Real Madrid.

Roeder said: 'I am living on the mobile phone at the moment, but one of the biggest problems we have is that the season has now started in the rest of Europe.

'Coaches have got their squads together and it is proving difficult to prise players away.'

Real midfielder Thomas Gravesen has had to remain patient as Newcastle have worked to strengthen in other areas, while Wayne Bridge's early-season form at Chelsea, coupled with the Ashley Cole saga, have complicated matters on that front.