Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Hughton in Battle for Moses; Palace Star's a Wanted Man: Newcastle Battle to Sign Palace Prodigy

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Hughton in Battle for Moses; Palace Star's a Wanted Man: Newcastle Battle to Sign Palace Prodigy

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Douglas

NEWCASTLE United are hopeful of making Crystal Palace forward Victor Moses their sixth capture of the January transfer window but face intense competition to sign the teenager. On another busy day at St James' Park, United clinched loan deals for QPR defender Fitz Hall and Chelsea youngster Patrick van Aanholt yesterday as well as lodging an improved bid for Palace striker Moses. That is understood to be around the pounds 2million asking price with United now waiting to hear back from Crystal Palace's administrators, who have also received bids from West Brom and Nottingham Forest.

United are confident they are a bigger draw than their Championship promotion rivals but the situation would be complicated by Premier League suitors West Ham, Stoke and Fulham firming up their interest with bids - while the distance from the player's foster parents could also work against Newcastle.

Hughton was surprisingly upbeat when questioned about Moses yesterday, going much further than he has when previously talking about potential transfer targets, and The Journal understands that there is cautious optimism their bid and contract offer will be Tyneside, with the club prepared to more than double his Palace wages. United were offered further encouragement by Moses' agent Tony Finnegan last night, who said Moses had been "impressed" by the set up at St James' Park.

"He went there on Wednesday and was impressed by the stadium and the fact there were 40,000 odd for a midweek game. Obviously that made an impression on Victor," he told The Journal. "We're all just waiting for the administrators' next move now." At his pre-match press conference yesterday, Hughton was fulsome in his praise of Moses, who has moved ahead of James Vaughan as the club's priority striking target. "It's been documented that we are very interested in signing the lad," he said. "Most people are also aware of the circumstances with Crystal Palace and the situation they are in, and we hope to make progress on that over the next couple of days. …

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