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WhoScored: Cesc driving Chelsea on

Tactics And Analysis 10 hours ago
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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 13, 2009

Kinnear considering deal for Lovenkrands

Newcastle boss Joe Kinnear hopes to tie up midfielder Peter Lovenkrands on a deal until the end of the season later this week.

The 28-year-old Danish international began a week-long trial on Tyneside yesterday after leaving German side Schalke earlier this season, and has already impressed.

Kinnear said: "We have spoken about him staying with me until the end of the season and then looking at it at the end of the season, and that's the position we find ourselves in at the moment.

"He is happy to do that, so hopefully we can tie something up and make something permanent at the end of this week for the rest of the season.''

Kinnear also dismissed speculation linking the Magpies with a £500,000 move for West Ham midfielder Nigel Quashie, whose loan spell at Birmingham is drawing to a close.

Kinnear is even more determined to hang on to his best players as a new injury crisis grips the club.

The 62-year-old has spent the fortnight since the January transfer window opened having to fend off speculation that the likes of Michael Owen, Shay Given, Charles N'Zogbia, Joey Barton and Alan Smith could be sold off, some at their own request and others to fund his own spending mission.

However, Kinnear, who revealed the club is in advanced discussions with two unidentified players - one Italian and the other Argentinian - over loan deals, heads into tomorrow night's FA Cup third-round replay with Hull with 11 key men confined to the treatment room and even more insistent that there will be no significant departures from St James' Park this month.

Asked about the rumours surrounding the likes of Given, Barton and N'Zogbia in particular in recent days, he said: "None of those [will leave], no. That's been ongoing for ages.

"We are just in a position where we have got 11 key players missing, so it is impossible for me to even think about selling anybody else.

"We would only weaken our team and weaken our opportunities of survival.''

Hardly a day has gone by since the transfer window opened without quotes attributed to either N'Zogbia or his agent suggesting he is ready to quit Tyneside appearing somewhere, most often in his native France.

Kinnear, however, did admit he could be prepared to allow some of his fringe players to leave, and while he would not identify the men in question, he revealed the Magpies have received offers amounting to £4.5 million which would allow him to make a move on one of his own targets.

The former Wimbledon boss, who has been in regular contact with owner Mike Ashley, managing director Derek Llambias and executive director (football) Dennis Wise, was due to hold talks with them this evening to discuss progress and the way forward.

He said: "We have got a meeting this evening to talk about the situation and how far down the road we are.

"We have got one or two fringe players who we have had offers for, reasonable offers, so I might consider letting them go, and if that money does come in - which will amount to about £4.5million - from them, I will be in a position to get the player I want.''

In the meantime, Kinnear confirmed substantial loan fees have been agreed for two overseas players.

He said: "They are international players. One is Italian, the other is Argentinian.

"The fact is that they are not actually playing in their current sides. They are fringe players, but they have got a lot of experience, which we need at the moment.

"We have had some positive vibes from their agents that they are keen to come and join us.

"But they are expensive and we have just got to sort out the finances.''

Kinnear admitted as the winter window opened that he hopes to recruit as many as four or five new players, and events since have simply increased his needs.

Andy Carroll, Obafemi Martins, Shola Ameobi, Mark Viduka, Smith, Barton, Steven Taylor, Habib Beye, Claudio Cacapa, Jose Enrique andGeremi will all miss tomorrow's game.

When asked if even more players than first thought could arrive in the coming weeks, Kinnear said: "That's a possibility because of the crisis we find ourselves in now - and I think it is a must as well.

"I have explained that to the owner and to the managing director and to be honest, fingers crossed, I am hoping, without tempting fate, the answer will be 'Yes'.''

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