Date: 5th February 2006 at 12:17pm
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Glenn Roeder got his first taste of how events off the pitch at St James’ Park can be as big news as what happens on it when it emerged that £9.5million signing Albert Luque had left the stadium before kick-off after discovering he was not in the 16.

However, he insisted nothing should be read into the situation.

Roeder: ‘I had a chat with Albert before the game, which has to be a private chat. He’s a very professional person and asked if he could return home, and I haven’t got a problem with that.

‘There’s nothing sinister in that either. Trust me, there is nothing sinister in that whatsoever.’

The Spanish international has been far from happy since moving to Tyneside, and many feel he will return to Spain in the summer. Graeme Souness insisted the winger was ‘going nowhere’ in the January transfer window, but that was eased by the fact no-one made an offer for him.