Mark Viduka beat Joey Barton to it this afternoon and after passing his medical at St. James’ Park he signed on the dotted line for Newcastle.
The paper work is keeping Barton from being a Newcastle player but we also expect David Rosehnal and Ben Tal Haim to become Newcastle players within the next few days.
Big Sam – Viduka and Barton In – Who’s Next?
Mark Viduka the Aussie striker has now officially signed for Newcastle United after passing a medical at St. James Park today. Mark has signed a two year deal and was a free agent so cost Newcastle nothing in terms of transfer fees. He scored 19 goals for Middlesbrough last season and Mark along with Owen, Martins and Ameobi will form an awesome strike force for Newcastle next season.
This is what Manager Sam Allardyce said about the signing:
“We are getting a player with vast experience in Premiership football and a natural goalscorer,”
“He has the size and stature to lead our front line and is direct competition for Shola Ameobi, who is fit again now.
“It is common knowledge that every manager in the game wants two players for every position, and that is what we will have at Newcastle United next season as far as our strikers are concerned.
“It is a great start for us as we already have Oba Martins and Michael Owen who can play off a big man. It is all looking very exciting.”
Mark also spoke about his move as he told the NUFC official site:
“Talking to Sam was a big turning point for me.
“I really wanted to hear what Sam’s plans were for the new season and what players he was looking to bring in.
“And his answers matched with what I was thinking myself.
“I want to win things and Newcastle United is a club that has all the ingredients to do that, especially with Sam coming in.”
We think Sam will be able to get the very best out of Mark – and that should be it for strikers unless of course Owen decides to move on. If that happens Big Sam may try to lure Nicholas Anelka or David Trezeguet (Juventus) to Newcastle – but we’ll need to know Owen’s intentions soon.
Ben Tal Haim should also be joining Newcastle soon, having been linked with the move for a couple of weeks now. He is another free agent and this is what Big Sam had to say about Ben Hain – who of course he worked with at Bolton after bringing in him from Israel in 2004 for Â£400,000:
“Yes, I’m interested in Tal Ben Haim, he’s a free agent and hopefully available.
“He has got three or four years of experience in the Premiership and I know him inside out.
“We had a good working relationship, we grew in the Premiership together and I’m very interested in working with him again.”
David Rosehnal has already expressed a desire to play for Newcastle United. His agent Pavel Zika is confident a transfer will be concluded very soon and told MF Dnes yesterday:
“David’s move is not clear yet, but the clubs have contacted each other,”
“If they reach an agreement, I am convinced that we will agree to for the player.
“In my opinion, everything is a matter of if just hours or days.”
Pavel Zika has earlier talked about David’s desire to play for Newcastle – which we reported a couple days back:
“David would love to play for Newcastle,” “He knows manager Sam Allardyce was also a centre-back and believes he can learn from him.”
“Allardyce was keen to sign David back in January for Bolton and I know he came to watch him play against Wales.
“David has played for one great club, PSG, but would love to come to the Premiership and play for another.
“PSG are holding out for the right offer for their player.”
So we expect Viduka, Barton, Ben Haim and Rosehnal to be with us very shortly. The next two to come in should be Leighton Baines from Wigan Athletic (Â£5M) and Derek Boateng from Beiter Jerusalem in Israel (<Â£1M).