Newcastle sign Lovenkrands

Newcastle today completed the signing of former Rangers forward Peter Lovenkrands until the end of the season.

The 28-year-old Denmark international, who left German club Schalke earlier this month after his contract was terminated by mutual consent, has been snapped up after a successful two-week trial on Tyneside.

Lovenkrands, who will wear the number 24 shirt, could make his debut in Wednesday night's Barclays Premier League game at Manchester City.

The winger told the club's official website, www.nufc.co.uk: "I'm delighted to sign a deal until the end of the season. I now just can't wait for my debut at Man City next week."

Lovenkrands' capture comes a day after latest financial figures put the club's attempts to strengthen the squad available to manager Joe Kinnear into perspective.

They revealed owner Mike Ashley has already ploughed £110million into the Magpies on top of the £134.4m he handed over to buy it, and wages currently account for more than 70 per cent of turnover, well in excess of the 50 per cent recommended.

However, Ashley has promised to back Kinnear's January transfer plans, and the 62-year-old revealed last week that a £5m bid for Rennes midfielder Stephane Mbia and a £4m offer for another unnamed player had been tabled.

But the club may have to be a little more inventive in their pursuit of other targets with short-term and loan deals more likely, and they will hope Lovenkrands' arrival is the first of several.

Kinnear's squad is currently ravaged by injuries, although the likes of Joey Barton, Alan Smith, Mark Viduka and Obafemi Martins could soon return to help the fight for top-flight survival with only two points currently separating them from the drop zone.

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