Souness tables new offers for Anelka and Boa Morte

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Souness, who is preparing his players for their Intertoto Cup second leg with ZTS Dubnica at St James' Park today, would not discuss exact details of the bid for Anelka but said: "I understand we have been in contact and we will see what reaction we get."

Fenerbahçe put a £10m price tag on Anelka this week. Newcastle value the player around £4m less, but could stretch to a compromise given Souness's keenness to make Anelka his third signing of the summer following the arrivals of Scott Parker and Emre.

However, Fulham were quick yesterday to reject Newcastle's undisclosed bid for Boa Morte, for whom Middlesbrough also joined the estimated £3m chase.

Newcastle's interest is expected to be far from over with Souness desperate to add quality to a squad whose depleted numbers he blames for having forced them into this season's Intertoto Cup campaign. He wants no further departures, and he has named both Lee Bowyer and Jermaine Jenas in the squad for the game with the Slovenians, against whom Newcastle hold a 3-1 first leg lead.

Jenas and Bowyer have been linked with moves and although Bowyer's future remains uncertain, Souness said: "You can never say never because you can't see inside the minds of other managers - but everyone knows the ones we want to keep and those players will not be going anywhere."

Kieron Dyer, whose hamstring injury shows no signs of clearing up will sit out the first competitive home game of the new season alongside Parker and Emre, but recalls for Shay Given and Stephen Carr show that Souness is refusing to take the task lightly.

Deportivo La Coruña are expected to await in the semi-finals but for now Souness is only thinking of Dubnica, saying: "We wouldn't be the first team to be embarrassed if we didn't approach it properly.

"The obvious danger is you come unstuck because you're not up to speed but if we come through this tie we'll be in far better shape for the next game. At the end of that we will be nearer where we want to be for the start of the season."