Robert returns to take on Tottenham

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Newcastle United's Laurent Robert has returned from compassionate leave and will be available for Sunday's Premiership encounter with Tottenham Hotspur.

The 26-year-old former Paris St-Germain player was allowed to fly home to Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean after learning of the death of his grandfather earlier in the week. But Robert has now returned to Tyneside after the funeral and is ready to resume training today.

An Arsenal scout will be in Salonika on Sunday to watch the Aris striker Angelos Charisteas who scored in Greece's World Cup qualifier against England.

Wigan are signing Matt Jackson on loan from Norwich City, with a view to a permanent move after the player fell out of favour at Carrow Road. The former Everton defender will go straight into Jewell's struggling side.

Oldham Athletic are making a £500,000 double bid to sign the Bury striker Jon Newby and their left-back Craig Armstrong.

The Liverpool manager Gérard Houllier is continuing to improve following emergency heart surgery last weekend, doctors said yesterday. Houllier underwent an 11-hour operation after being taken ill.

Eleven European clubs with French internationals are aiming to block France's trip to Australia for a friendly international next month. Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea, Fulham, Leeds United, Roma, Parma, Juventus, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Marseilles have all signed a petition opposing it.