Football: Lee's new lease of life

Uefa Cup Second round second leg: NEWCASTLE

ROB LEE'S return to favour was completed yesterday when the Newcastle United manager, Bobby Robson, claimed he would not sell the midfielder for anything less than pounds 10m.

Lee was put on the transfer list after his differences with the former manager, Ruud Gullit, reached crisis point during the summer. But in removing his name from the list this week, Robson underlined the 33-year-old's value to the club in glowing terms.

"At this moment, Robert Lee is not available and if we got an offer for Robert Lee, unless it was pounds 10m, I wouldn't let him go," he said. "We would be in a poorer situation without him. He'd like to stay and see out his contract - I think he's got two more years to go - and I'm happy that he wishes that."

The move came on the eve of Newcastle's Uefa Cup second round, second leg game with FC Zurich at St James' Park with Robson and his players looking to push home the 2-1 advantage they brought back from Switzerland.

That could mean a first start since 16 September for the much-injured striker Duncan Ferguson, who is ready to link up with Alan Shearer in attack after recovering from the hamstring injury he picked up in Sofia in the previous round of the competition.

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