Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Viana Heading Back to United

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Viana Heading Back to United

Article excerpt

Byline: By Simon Rushworth

Hugo Viana is ready to confound those critics who wrote off his Newcastle career 12 months ago and complete the unlikeliest comeback of the summer.

Publicly frustrated in his attempts to secure a permanent move back home, the Portuguese international has been assured he has a future with the Magpies.

And with United's opening Intertoto Cup tie less than two weeks away, Viana has resolved to convince Graeme Souness he can play a key role in the club's quest for Uefa Cup football.

"I have accepted that I will return to Newcastle on Monday and I am very relaxed about the situation," explained the former European Young Footballer of the Year.

"I am contracted to the club for another three years and that's not a problem as far as I'm concerned.

"Everybody knows United have tried to transfer me this summer but I don't expect the club to sell me for next to nothing. The chairman has done everything in his power to make things happen but it's all quiet.

"Now I am only thinking about the Intertoto Cup and my aim is to make the first squad. I always said I was proud to wear the black-and-white stripes and that has never changed. This is a second chance for me."

As revealed in The Journal last month, Viana's hand has been forced by the fact that neither Benfica nor Porto are in a position to bid for his services this summer. And Newcastle have hit a brick wall in attempting to negotiate a deal with Sporting Lisbon with the 22-year-old now unlikely to return to the Jose Alvalade for a third time.

Viana, of course, left Tyneside with the boos of a vocal minority of supporters ringing in his ears and he is braced for an uncomfortable return to the St James's Park stage, assuming he can force his way into Souness' first team plans.

But unlike ostracised colleague Craig Bellamy, the popular Portuguese can expect a warm welcome from United team-mates when he reports for training on Monday. …

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