Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Magpies Old Boy Targets a Return

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Magpies Old Boy Targets a Return

Article excerpt

Byline: By Simon Rushworth

Nolberto Solano has not given up on a starting place against former club Newcastle on Saturday after revealing he will fight fatigue and risk injury for a prized return to St James's Park.

The Peruvian, on the losing side as Brazil secured a hard-fought 1-0 victory in Sunday's World Cup qualifier, had indicated he would not be in a position to play against United on Tyneside for the first time since last January's controversial move to Aston Villa.

But Solano, in action for the second time in five days in the early hours of tomorrow morning, has confirmed he is flying into Newcastle on Friday evening with a view to lining up against his former colleagues the following afternoon.

"It will be a tough journey and of course fatigue will be a factor," explained the former Magpies' favourite. "But I think the manager wants me to play as we do not have too many options on the right side.

"I will leave it until the last minute because it's a match that means so much to me and of course I want to play. I never had the opportunity to say a proper farewell to the United fans ( they were always good to me when I was at Newcastle and they have been great to me since my move. It's a big weekend for me and I can't rule myself out until I have to."

Solano has comfortably established himself as Villa's player of the season and it is no surprise Graeme Souness made an audacious move for the South American playmaker in January. As the Midlanders' eight-goal top scorer and the club's set-piece specialist, it is little wonder O'Leary wants his pounds 1.5m signing to feature against a Newcastle side growing in strength at home and abroad.

And the former Leeds boss faces an anxious wait for news from Lima as Solano and Villa full back Ulises De La Cruz contest a World Cup fixture both sides need to win to keep alive their hopes of qualification for next year's finals tournament in Germany. …

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