VIOLA FITS THE BILL; NEWCASTLE WANT[pounds sterling]3M BRAZILLIAN TO PLUG SHEARER GAP

Article excerpt

Byline: JOHN RICHARDSON

NEWCASTLE UNITED have targeted Brazilian World Cup striker Viola as their latest possible replacement for the injured Alan Shearer.

Viola, who would cost around [pounds sterling]3million, is in dispute with his Brazilian club Palmeiras, and it is understood that contact has already been made with the player who is anxious to leave South America after falling out with coach Luiz Scolare.

Kenny Dalglish has moved for Viola after insisting that he is firmly in control of playing matters at St James's Park and warned that he would walk out if that wasn't the case.

Unsuccessful moves in the transfer market and talk that his position as manager has been undermined by the demands of the PLC has resulted in a fraught week for Dalglish.

But he said yesterday: 'Nobody here is undermining my job. The board has been totally supportive since I came to Newcastle and they will continue to be.

All this garbage talk about it being otherwise is causing people a wee bit of concern.' Targeting Viola signals Dalglish's freedom to plan for another major success on Tyneside, albeit within the confines of a [pounds sterling]3m spending limit. The striker, who started with another Brazilian side Corinthians before moving into the Spanish League with Valencia, cost Palmeiras [pounds sterling]3m to take him back to Brazil 12 months ago.

Paulo Russo, manager of Palmeiras' financial backers, said last night: 'We have had contact from Newcastle saying they would like to buy Viola. Now we are hoping to arrange a meeting between Newcastle and the player.' Viola came on as substitute in the 1994 World Cup Final against Italy and the experienced player would have no difficulty in acquiring a work permit.

Newcastle's last raid on Brazil brought popular striker Mirandinha to St James's Park while Colombian star Faustino Asprilla has brought excitement to Tyneside following a [pounds sterling]7. …