Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Onyewu Left in Limbo by Liege

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Onyewu Left in Limbo by Liege

Article excerpt

Byline: By Luke Edwards

Oguchi Onyewu will not be welcomed back by Standard Liege if he does not earn a permanent contract with Newcastle United as the Belgian club want to sell him, writes Luke Edwards.

United manager Glenn Roeder has admitted he took the American international on loan until the end of the season as a way to offer the player an extended trial on Tyneside, as they were unsure whether he could adapt to English football. But after two months and five games for the Magpies, it is far from certain Onyewu will be given a permanent deal, with Roeder warning last week the defender has still not done enough to prove he is good enough to play in the Premiership.

Newcastle's manager insisted the 6ft 3in player had eight games left to show he can succeed in English football, eight games Liege will have a keen interest in.

The Journal understands United, who are aiming to sign two new centre-backs in the summer, will keep either Titus Bramble or Onyewu, with Roeder yet to make a final decision. Bramble had been set for a new contract, but talks were called off after he was heavily criticised by Roeder in the aftermath of the Uefa Cup defeat by Alkmaar.

Sources in Belgium, though, also suggest that Liege only agreed to allow Onyewu to move on loan to Newcastle in an effort to attract interest from other clubs.

Liege have privately admitted they suspect Newcastle will not sign the player permanently in the summer, but they are still confident they will be able to find a buyer.

A source in Belgium said: "Standard Liege do not want Oguchi to come back and he does not want to come back to Belgium. They want to sell him and, even though they know Newcastle might not sign him, they agreed to let him go on loan to attract interest from other clubs.

"Whatever happens with Newcastle, Liege will sell him in the summer. He has been linked with Real Madrid, Chelsea and Marseille in the past and there are other clubs as well. …

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