Owen and Martins set to miss Old Trafford opener
Thursday 14 August 2008
As Manchester United moved for Berbatov, there was increasing belief on Tyneside that Michael Owen will not be fit for Sunday's season opener at Old Trafford. At a Newcastle open training session at St James' Park yesterday morning, Owen merely jogged around the pitch as he recovers from a calf strain and, having not kicked a ball in pre-season, is almost certainly out of Sunday's match.
With Obafemi Martins missing yesterday – his absence is unexplained but the Nigerian missed training on Tuesday as well – there is fresh doubt about his readiness for Old Trafford.
Mark Viduka is out due to injury and Shola Ameobi is said to be in talks with Ipswich Town pending a transfer to the Championship. That leaves teenager Andy Carroll, who is unfit, and Alan Smith, who has not yet scored a competitive goal for Newcastle one year on from his £6m signing from Manchester United.
As of yesterday afternoon, Jonas Gutierrez, Kevin Keegan's signing from Real Mallorca, had still not received international clearance from Fifa so there is concern about his participation – and Keegan will have to deal with an increased bid of up to £8m from Aston Villa for James Milner.
Gutierrez's compatriot Fabricio Coloccini did not train yesterday but at least his Premier League registration is expected through before tomorrow, meaning the £9.1m defender from Deportivo La Coruña should be in line for a debut.
But with seven spaces on the substitutes' bench this season, Newcastle may be struggling to fill them all with recognisable first-team players.
Joey Barton yesterday admitted guilt to the FA's charge of "violent conduct" and has requested a personal hearing, which should be heard within the next four weeks. The incident happened at Manchester City's Carrington training ground on 1 May 2007, before his £5.8m move to St James' Park in June last year.
Tiago Mendes, the Juventus midfielder, is considering a loan move to Newcastle. Tiago is available for a season on loan before an £8m permanent transfer.
Already missing Kenwyne Jones until the beginning of October, Sunderland yesterday discovered that Michael Chopra has been suspended for the first three matches of the season after being dismissed in a pre-season friendly at Sporting Lisbon. It means Daryl Murphy is likely to lead the attack against Liverpool on Saturday.
Latest in Sport
Radamel Falcao exclusive: Forward says joining Manchester United is a 'dream come true'
Transfer deadline day: The best memes and tweets, featuring Radamel Falcao, Javier Hernandez and Bart Simpson
Arsenal transfer news: Ray Parlour urges Arsene Wenger to make late move for Edinson Cavani
WWE Raw preview: Will John Cena continue to defy the threat of Brock Lesnar?
Danny Welbeck to Arsenal: Arsene Wenger pictured in Rome as club close in on Manchester United striker for £17m
- 1 Al Pacino on suffering from depression: 'It can last and it's terrifying'
- 2 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 3 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain