Date: 4th December 2006 at 3:03pm
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Albert Luque has told The Journal he expects to join either Real Betis or Villareal when the transfer window opens in January.

The Spanish international claims he has been told by chairman Freddie Shepherd that he can leave the club as long as an acceptable bid for him is received in the New Year.

The club paid £9.5m for his services from Deportivo La Coruña but neither club would pay anywhere near that figure for him.

He was involved in an accident just outside Newcastle Airport on Wednesday morning which left him lying in a ditch and his car a crumpled wreck following a collision with a lorry.

Why was he not with the other players?

Guess what: because he had forgotten his passport and was on his way home to collect it.