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Nigeria victory is a stepping stone to World Cup - Jane

Football
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Joorabchian to lead Toon clear-out?

Newcastle United are reported to have appointed controversial Iranian businessman Kia Joorabchian as a football advisor at a time of speculation about a potential clear-out at St James' Park.

Sol Campbell has been linked with a move back to Arsenal, Alan Smith with a return to Elland Road, and with no new contract in place for Joey Barton, a potential sale of the midfielder.

New manager Alan Pardew has stated that he wants to keep Smith and Barton, but it looks as though Campbell will be released on a free transfer

Owner Mike Ashley is also tapping into Joorabchian's global contacts as Pardew also needs to recruit new players. Pardew is already fully aware of Joorabchian's influence.

When Pardew was manager of West Ham, Joorabchian brought Argentineans Tevez and Javier Mascherano to Upton Park, with somewhat negative consequences. Pardew was fired in the winter of 2006 as his Hammers were threatened with relegation and after fall-outs with both players.

Joorabchian was recently heavily involved in Carlos Tevez's abortive attempt to quit Manchester City, and may have moved on his interests after a fall-out with the Eastlands hierachy.

A Newcastle insider referred to owner Mike Ashley's budget sporting goods empire when he told ESPNsoccernet: "There is a feeling that the club is being run like Sports Direct, so it would be no surprise if some of the fringe players on big salaries are moved on in this window, if they can find clubs for them."

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