Date: 21st June 2006 at 2:50pm
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According to the Evening Chronicle, the Toon face competition from North-East rivals Middlesbrough for Steed Malbranque’s signature.

Glenn Roeder has targeted the 26-year-old Frenchman, who has only a year left on his contract at Fulham, and it is thought a figure of around £3.5m will seal the deal.

New Boro manager Gareth Southgate, who is on World Cup duty with a TV company, has already seen off Newcastle and secured a verbal agreement with Germany defender Robert Huth. Roeder has played it down saying he was never in the hunt for the defender, but rumours from Stamford Bridge say different.