Onyewu eager to make Newcastle move permanent

Newcastle United's new signing Oguchi Onyewu has insisted that he is on Tyneside for the long haul. The 24-year-old United States international defender yesterday completed a loan move until the end of the season, but he wants to make the manager Glenn Roeder take an option to make the switch from Standard Liege permanent.

Onyewu said: "I am not here just for the short term, I am definitely here for the long term and to make something special happen."

The defender will be among the crowd for tonight's Premiership match against Aston Villa at St James' Park, but will hope to be involved in the weekend trip to Fulham.

Onyewu, who has also been linked with Chelsea and Manchester United, said that he had been aware of Newcastle's interest for some time. "I have been following Newcastle for quite some time and saw they were struggling in terms of results, and [thought] maybe this could possibly be in my future. There were other possibilities, but in the end I realised this was the best career move for me."

Born to Nigerian parents in Washington DC, Onyewu emerged from college football to earn a move to Metz in France before playing for La Louviere and then Standard Liege in Belgium.

Onyewu told the Newcastle website: "The club has a great history and great names despite their lack of any championships in the past couple of years. I know they want to get a title in the coming seasons and I want to be part of something special at this club."