Date: 5th January 2006 at 10:14am
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What a waste of money? Newcastle have millions tied up in Laurent Robert and Hugo Viana … both out on loan, and neither will return to St James’ Park. But will United get a penny for them?

Hugo Viana is not exactly pulling up any trees in Spain with Valencia, where he is on a season’s loan from St James’ Park. They could ask Valencia if they would tear up that loan and let the Portuguese midfielder return to Tyneside to help ease their current predicament. But can you seriously see that happening?

And United saw £9.5million go up in smoke yesterday as controversial French winger Laurent Robert left for Benfica. But will they get money for him?

But while the Geordies count the cost of signing him, 30-year-old Robert can look forward to facing Liverpool in the Champions League next month.

Robert: ?Liverpool are the champions and playing very well this season. But I think Benfica play a good brand of attacking football and can spring a surprise. This is a super club with a great history and it was nice that they showed interest in me. They are ambitious and I?m still ambitious. I am very happy to be here.?