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By ESPN Staff
Jan 11, 2007

Newcastle wait for news on transfer targets

Newcastle boss Glenn Roeder is waiting for news after revealing he has made approaches for 'a couple of players'.

The 51-year-old has steadfastly refused to identify publicly the men he wants to strengthen his squad.

He has been quick to reject names of players he insists his club are not going to sign, the latest being Real Madrid star David Beckham.

Roeder has made no secret of the fact that he is looking for a striker - Liverpool's Peter Crouch and Charlton's Darren Bent are on his wish-list, although the Reds' insistence that the England hitman is not for sale and Bent's knee injury are significant obstacles.

He is also in the market for defenders, although he insists Inter Milan left-back Marco Andreolli is not one of them.

Roeder said: 'We have made our inquiries for a couple of players and now we are waiting for answers - and hopefully those answers will be positive.

'But the days when transfers could be done in 24 hours are long gone because there are so many people involved, like chairmen, managers, agents, chief executives and the players themselves.'

The link with Beckham was inevitable after yesterday's uncertainty over the former England skipper's future, with the Magpies' reputation for spending big preceding them.

However, Roeder was quick to dismiss suggestions that St James' Park could be a destination for the 31-year-old should he leave the Bernabeu.

He said: 'David Beckham is a fantastic player, but we are not and will not be involved in any negotiations to bring him to Newcastle United.'

Newcastle are perhaps best served in the midfield department with Kieron Dyer, Scott Parker, Nicky Butt, Emre, James Milner, Nolberto Solano, Damien Duff and Charles N'Zogbia competing for places with youngsters Matty Pattison, James Troisi and Alan O'Brien waiting in the wings.

Shepherd has never been afraid to approach the biggest names - his £17million capture of Michael Owen is evidence of that - but the expensive mistakes of the Graeme Souness era have left a legacy.

Roeder was saddled with expensive flops Jean-Alain Boumsong and Albert Luque - who is attracting interest from PSV Eindhoven - and while the chairman has richly supported all his managers there is little doubt that limited cash is being spent more carefully these days.

Meanwhile, Roeder will hope to be able to call on three of his most talented midfielders for Saturday's Barclays Premiership trip to Tottenham.

Parker was suspended for the 2-2 FA Cup third-round draw at Birmingham last weekend, while Emre missed out with a groin problem.

The Turkey international has now returned to training, and although Nicky Butt has been laid low by a virus, the manager could have all three men at his disposal at White Hart Lane.

But he is likely once again to have to do without left-back Celestine Babayaro, whose recovery from a hamstring injury is taking longer than expected.

Roeder said: 'Scott Parker has served his ban and we are expecting him and Emre to be fit for Sunday - but it does not look as though Babayaro is going to make it.

'Nicky Butt has been confined to his home for the past three days with a viral infection and we will have to see how he is.

'But we need him to be there on Sunday.'