Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Winger Hints at Magpies Interest; Legear Draws List of Admirers

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Winger Hints at Magpies Interest; Legear Draws List of Admirers

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Douglas

H IGHLY-RATED Anderlecht winger Jonathan Legear has claimed Newcastle United are interested in signing him.

The 23-year-old is one of several players being monitored by United, who have expanded their scouting network to include the Dutch and Belgian leagues since the arrival of Graham Carr.

But Legear has gone one step further - claiming that Newcastle have contacted his agent to express an interest in signing him.

A quick winger who has made 99 appearances in the Belgian Jupiler League, he has also been linked to Everton while Sunderland chief scout Ricky Sbragia has also watched him in the past.

He can play on both wings but is primarily a right-winger - a position where Newcastle were struggling until the emergence of Joey Barton on the flank.

"Newcastle has contacted my agent to let him know they are interested in me," Legear said.

"I need to prove again and show if I have the level to play in the Premier League." Hughton claimed in the immediate aftermath of Hatem Ben Arfa's injury that he would not be signing anyone in January but Legear's claims seem to contradict that.

Midfield is the one area in which Newcastle probably need reinforcements - with the squad pretty thin on the ground if they don't strengthen.

That is because Ben Arfa is not scheduled to be back from a double leg fracture until March - a long wait for a player desperate to prove his worth and secure a permanent deal.

Speaking yesterday, Ben Arfa confirmed that his recovery is progressing, adding that he was already missing the North East.

"I am doing well in my recovery but the process is slow," he said.

"I am staying with my grandparents and that is good for the psychology aspect because it is not easy with an injury like this.

"It is a long process. There is not a lot I can do in these early stages and it is a case of waiting for the bone to mend. …

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