Football: Hall makes Herculean attempt to lure Robson

Newcastle United were last night believed to be making a last-ditch attempt to lure Bobby Robson to St James' Park, with a high-level meeting scheduled for Barcelona's Nou Camp Stadium.

The Newcastle chairman, Sir John Hall, a keen supporter of Robson, was said to be leading the negotiations for the former England manager's release with the Spanish club's president, Jose Luis Nunez.

Robson and his Portuguese advisor, Jose Vega, were also reported to be attending the meeting which was to follow last night's league match against newly promoted Hercules. What had not been anticipated was a 3-2 home defeat for Robson's team by the side second from bottom in the Spanish First Division.

It is understood that Newcastle are so eager to have Robson that they are prepared to buy out his contract, which has nearly two years to run. The Barcelona coach has resisted efforts to tempt him home, but what might tip the scales in Sir John's favour is that Robson's relationship with Nunez has cooled considerably in the past week.

Robson's position with the Catalan club has been weakened after a series of disappointing performances, and last night's result, bound to be viewed as one of the worst in the club's history, could well hasten the departure of Robson.

The 63-year-old former Ipswich manager is seen by Newcastle as the figurehead of a managerial dynasty, with Peter Beardsley eventually taking over and in turn handing the reins on to Alan Shearer. Robson has indicated that he would like to take his assistant, Jose Mourinho, with him should he leave Spain. He followed Robson when he left Porto.

Despite another strong candidate in Kenny Dalglish, Robson has remained the No 1 target and Sir John has continually interrupted his winter break at his Marbella retreat to try to secure his man.

Newcastle sent a delegation to Spain as soon as Keegan's resignation became public knowledge. They met Robson at his villa in Sitges where he was offered a five-year deal on a similar salary to Barcelona, where he earns around pounds 600,000 a year.

Back on Tyneside, Pavel Srnicek added to the post-Keegan turmoil by asking for a transfer. The Czech goalkeeper, who delivered his request in writing to the caretaker managers, Terry McDermott and Arthur Cox, said he had no option but to ask to go for the sake of his family after being dropped for the fifth time in his Newcastle career.

"Everybody knows what I think of of the fans and this area, and the same goes for my family too, so this is a very sad day for me," Srnicek said. "But at this stage of my career I need to be playing first-team football and I've come to the conclusion that it's time for me to make a move and look for a new team."

One of Keegan's last managerial decisions was to drop the 28-year-old Srnicek - a pounds 350,000 signing by Jim Smith from Banik Ostrava in 1991 - once again, with Shaka Hislop taking over for the last three games of his reign.

But Srnicek, whose contract runs out at the end of next season, made it clear that his decision to make a formal transfer request was not related to Hislop or to Keegan's resignation.

"This has nothing to do with Shaka or anything else; I've got nothing against Shaka. This is about me," he said.

Alex Ferguson, the Manchester United manager, is hoping to sign the Israeli centre-back, Gadi Bromer, for pounds 1.3m from Maccabi Tel Aviv later this week.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Floyd Mayweather will relinquish his five world titles after beating Manny Pacquiao
boxing
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
News
Tottenham legend Jimmy Greaves has defended fans use of the word 'Yid'
people
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living