Newcastle line up Carr to boost squad

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The Independent Online

Newcastle United have agreed a deal with Tottenham Hotspur for their Republic of Ireland defender Stephen Carr.

Carr, who joined Spurs as a trainee in 1992 and had a year left on his contract, only has to finalise personal terms and undergo a medical. Spurs have already resigned themselves to losing a player who has spent the last 11 years at White Hart Lane.

The club's sporting director Frank Arnesen said: "We've always rated Stephen as a player and at this stage we wouldn't have chosen to let him go. I respect his decision. I'll be sorry to see him go and wish him well."

Carr will strengthen a squad hit by conjunctivitis, with Laurent Robert the latest player to miss training after displaying the same symptoms which have forced Lee Bowyer, Shay Given, Andy O'Brien and Tony Caig on to the sidelines.

The 27-year-old would also appear to be joining a Newcastle side at war as stories of a player revolt against the manager Sir Bobby Robson have arisen.

The Newcastle striker Alan Shearer denied there was any rift between himself and Robson, saying: "These reports are absolutely rubbish. There has been no fighting, no bust-ups and the club is in good shape. It's right and proper that, as captain, I come out and say these things after what has been written and said. I can tell the fans every single Newcastle player is pulling in the same direction and we are completely focused.

"We all want success and silverware for Newcastle this season. Not for Alan Shearer. Not for the manager. Not for the chairman. But we want success for the fans and the football club as a whole."

The Ireland manager Brian Kerr yesterday left Carr's erstwhile Spurs team-mate Robbie Keane out of his squad for an international friendly against Bulgaria next week. Keane suffered ligament damage in a pre-season match against Rangers. The Bulgaria game is Ireland's last before World Cup qualifiers against Cyprus and Switzerland next month.

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