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Marseille sack Jacob amid Zubizarreta links

By ESPN Staff

Magpies set to be lumbered with Luque

Albert Luque's chances of securing a way out of Newcastle look to have been dashed by former Magpie Jon Dahl Tomasson.

Manager Glenn Roeder has revealed the club have been in talks with Spanish side Villarreal over what would have been a loan move for the £9.5million misfit.

However, the Primera Liga outfit have now recruited 30-year-old Dane Tomasson, who himself endured a difficult spell at St James' Park earlier in his career, on a similar basis.

That could mean Luque, who has not appeared for Newcastle since coming on as a substitute in the 1-0 Premiership defeat at Chelsea on December 13, could remain until the end of season and beyond following the collapse of a proposed move to PSV Eindhoven.

Roeder said: 'Luque's move to Villarreal is now very much in the balance because of the Jon Dahl Tomasson situation.

'In fact, I would say there has to be a big big doubt that he will be moving there. That follows on from the deal with PSV Eindhoven falling through, and there is no other club on the horizon.

'That being the case, it looks as though Albert will be here not only for the rest of this season, but also at the start of next season.'

That will come as a big disappointment to manager and player alike with the 28-year-old having slipped so far in the pecking order that his return to the bench for Saturday's 2-2 draw with West Ham came after he had been overlooked in favour of untried teenagers Andy Carroll and Kazenga LuaLua in recent weeks.

The Spain international last started a game on November 30 against Eintracht Frankfurt in Germany, but did little there to suggest he can belatedly make an impact for the club which invested so heavily in his services two summers' ago.

Luque's continuing presence is hampering Roeder's efforts to strengthen his squad as he juggles limited finances, although his situation had nothing to do with the manager's decision not to push ahead with a move for Dynamo Kiev's Serbia defender Goran Gavrancic.

The 28-year-old, an international team-mate of Manchester United's Nemanja Vidic, was ready to fly to the north-east from his club's winter training camp in Tel Aviv to seal a loan move.

However, Roeder has decided not to bring Gavrancic to the club, although he insists he will have new faces on board by the time the window closes on Wednesday.

He said: 'I have conducted my own investigations into Gavrancic and decided he is not a player we will be signing.

'I have been told by people I respect, and who know what they are talking about, that he is no better than the defenders we already have at St James' Park.

'But, while Gavrancic is not coming, that does not mean we have slackened off in our efforts to bring a couple of players in before the transfer window closes next Wednesday.

'The four or five players we have targeted are still with their clubs and I can put my hand on my heart and honestly say that we have not wanted any of the players who have already moved in the transfer window.

'I can only repeat what I have already said, and that is I will not panic or lose my nerve and I will not bring players in for the sake of adding another body to our squad.'

Meanwhile, Roeder played down speculation that Standard Liege's United States defender Oguchi Onyewu, who was considered as an option by derby rivals Middlesbrough during the summer, is a target.