Football: Lee asks for fair treatment

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The Independent Online
ROB LEE has asked Newcastle to set a fair price if they intend selling him. The 33-year-old England midfielder has made just one start since Boxing Day through a combination of injury and the form of the German Dietmar Hamann and the rejuvenated Welsh international Gary Speed in central midfield.

Newcastle would probably want pounds 2m for the veteran and Lee hopes the high price will not deter interested clubs. "Players don't have a say in how much they are worth, but if the club is looking to sell me, I would hope they would set a fair price," he said.

With the loss of the captaincy to Alan Shearer, Lee admits that the writing is on the wall. That message was driven home to him when he appeared as a second-half substitute in the 2-1 home defeat by Manchester United last weekend.

"Dietmar and Gary have done very well lately, but that doesn't stop me being a good player," he said. "When I came on the other day, we just seemed to get in each other's way. I can't really envisage the three of us playing together unless we played with wing-backs.

"My problems started with that Achilles injury. I've had the longest spell of my career on the sidelines, but I still feel I'm one of the best players at this club and have a lot to offer."

Lee joined United from his only other club, Charlton, for what proved to be a bargain pounds 700,000 in September 1992, first playing wide on the right before moving into the middle to establish his partnership with David Batty.

A number of clubs have been linked with Lee, although he has spoken to none. The fee could be a problem but he is not getting involved in any negotiations.

Arsene Wenger has added another prodigy to Arsenal's growing teenage ranks. The latest arrival is German youth international Moritz Volz, signed from Schalke 04 in a deal reported to be worth pounds 150,000-a-year to Germany's former under-15 captain from the start of next season.