Date: 21st December 2005 at 8:59pm
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Albert Luque is attracting interest back home in Spain. Real Madrid and Barcelona are said to be ready to give him the chance to get out of his current predicament. He says he hasn’t settled, doesn’t like the training and finds the Premiership too physical.

Rumours suggest his agent could be paving the way for him to move in the transfer window next month.

Shepherd: ‘I’ve heard about this supposed interest in Albert Luque from Real Madrid and Barcelona but nobody has contacted us. But we do know Luque is highly regarded by the all the top teams in Spain, where he is rated as one of the top six players in the country. However, I can categorically say Newcastle United have absolutely no interest in letting Albert Luque go to Spain.

‘Why would we want to sell a player only a couple of months after signing him, and when he has only played three or four games for us?’

Luque, 27, has started only three matches and striker Shola Ameobi has been preferred on the left of midfield.

Real are said to ready to give the player a ‘get out’ ticket by offering former Everton central midfielder Thomas Gravesen, a player Souness tried to sign while he was still at Goodison Park.