Kluivert keen on Newcastle move

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Patrick Kluivert has made a move to Newcastle his "first choice", according to his agent.

The 28-year-old Dutch international, who has been released by Barcelona, has been a long-term target for the Magpies, who are attempting to find a replacement for Alan Shearer when his deal expires at the end of the new campaign.

Contact between the two parties has been made and Kluivert's agent Paul Foortse said: "Newcastle is absolutely his first choice from a career point of view."

Newcastle first enquired about the former Ajax striker around 18 months ago and asked to be kept informed of his situation. But his reported wage packet at the Nou Camp of around £80,000 a week is beyond what they would be prepared to pay, although Foortse said they have not talked about money yet.

"Reports we have asked for £80,000 a week are absolutely not true," he said. "We haven't put a figure on wages - we haven't asked for anything. Newcastle haven't offered us a penny and we haven't asked for a penny."

Foortse played down reports that he and Kluivert have imposed a deadline on negotiations. "The season starts very soon, so the issue should be sorted quickly," Foortse said. "It's nothing to do with Newcastle, we just want things sorted within 14 days."

In Bangkok yesterday, Newcastle were beaten 4-2 on penalties by the Thai national side after a 1-1 draw. Sarayoot Chaikamdee gave Thailand the lead in the 16th minute, with Lee Bowyer equalising midway through the second half.

Bowyer missed in the shoot-out, however, and new signing James Milner, who was impressive after coming on as a second-half substitute, also failed from the spot.

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