Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Magpies Come First for Emre

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Magpies Come First for Emre

Article excerpt

Byline: By Paul Gilder

Emre is preparing to put club before country in Albania next week after telling his international coach that making a long-awaited comeback for Newcastle is chief amongst his priorities.

And that will come as a major bonus for Graeme Souness who, despite having been unable to utilise the Turk's talents for more than a month, has been forced to allow his injured midfielder to join up with his compatriots.

Although Emre this week returned to his homeland, he will not link up with Fatih Terim's squad until Sunday, assuaging fears that he could be coerced into lining up in a friendly fixture in Germany the previous afternoon. And, while the 25-year-old is still expected to play some part in next Wednesday's critical World Cup qualifier in Tirana, the former Inter Milan favourite has told Terim that he will not take any chances with his fragile fitness having outlined his determination to pull on a black-and-white shirt at Wigan on October 15.

"Emre will not be training with the Turkish squad until they regroup on Sunday," confirmed Ahmet Bulut, the player's Istanbul-based agent last night. "He will not be involved at all when they play against Germany this weekend."

Emre ( who has not featured for United since August 28, when he suffered a recurrence of a hamstring problem he sustained whilst playing international football ( will be examined by Terim's physios on Sunday after the Magpies were forced to sanction his departure under a Fifa directive.

Yet even if he is pronounced fit for a Group Two match the Turks can ill-afford to lose if they are to keep their World Cup dreams alive, the talented midfielder is determined to exercise caution in an attempt to avoid suffering a further setback to his stalled English career.

"When it comes to the game against Albania next week, Emre is still not sure," said Bulut, aware of both the clamour in his homeland for the popular player's participation and of the serious concerns harboured by Souness, who has been able to select Emre just twice in eight Premiership games this season.

"Emre would like to play some part because it's a big game and Turkey need to win. …

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