Boateng back on Fulham agenda
Tue, 30 Apr 2013 11:52:00
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is desperate to have skipper Fabricio Coloccini back for Saturday's trip to West Ham.
The Argentine has been out of action since the end of February but is in line to make a timely return as the Magpies look to ease their relegation fears at Upton Park.
And with spirits in the United camp at rock bottom following the 6-0 humiliation against Liverpool, Pardew believes the centre-half will not only shore up their leaky defence but provide some much-needed leadership on the pitch.
"I think Colo's important this week, no disrespect to the two centre-halves who played against Liverpool," Pardew told the Chronicle.
"I think his leadership is important. Hopefully, he comes through this week, and we can get him out on the pitch with the armband on."
Of the two centre halves on duty against Liverpool, Steven Taylor appears the most likely to retain his place against the physical threat of former team-mates Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan.
The Cottagers agreed a deal with Boateng in January and they won a work permit for the midfielder.
However, the 29-year-old was in dispute with his club Dnipro and Fulham were unable to finalise the deal before the deadline on January 31.
After failing to secure his Fulham move, Boateng held talks with Greek giants Olympiakos - who also tried to complete a deal but again the issue with Dnipro scuppered the move.
However, Boateng has now freed himself from his contract with Dnipro after he won his case at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland.
Now a free agent, Boateng is back on Fulham's agenda and the work permit they won in January is still valid - so therefore they are now in a position to push through a deal.
Jol is a big fan of Boateng and the news that they are now closing on his signature, ahead of this summer - will be a boost to his plans for next season.
When asked about their renewed interest in Boateng, Fulham refused to give an official comment.
The move to Fulham will see Boateng end a 10-year wait to seal a move to England, having first seen a switch to Middlesbrough in 2003 collapse when he failed to get a work permit.