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The tale of two talismans


Hughton rubbishes speculation

Newcastle boss Chris Hughton has denied he is looking to sign Raul, Hatem Ben Arfa, Sol Campbell and Benjani this summer.

Newcastle sign Gosling

Newcastle, who have already brought in James Perch and Dan Gosling, have been linked with an array of big names since they secured their return to the Premier League.

However, Hughton insists links with the likes of Real Madrid legend Raul - who looks set to join Schalke - and Marseille attacker Ben Arfa have no basis in fact.

"It's natural that we get linked with players but none of those names are accurate," he told the Journal. "Raul would have to take a huge pay cut to come here - I don't think he's going to do that!

"I read about Ben Arfa. He is a cracking player and it's nice to see us linked with him, but there has been absolutely no contact there whatsoever."

Links with Campbell and Benjani - both currently free agents - as well as Scunthorpe striker Gary Hooper have also been dismissed.

"I think people have picked up on my relationship with Sol and him being available and come up with that one," Hughton said. "He is a good player but at the moment there's nothing to say on it. There hasn't been any progress."

He added: "The Benjani rumour is just wrong - he hasn't been training with us - and there is nothing in the Gary Hooper rumour either."


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