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Newcastle United Football Club

  • Nickname:Magpies
  • Founded:1881
  • Manager:Alan Pardew
  • Ground:St James' Park
  • Capacity:52193
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Viduka return boost Magpies

16 Jul 2008 - 09:14:59

Newcastle United have been boosted by the news that injured striker Mark Viduka has made a surprise return to pre-season training.

The 31-year-old hitman sat out the closing weeks of last season with an Achilles injury which initial reports suggested would require surgery during the summer to cure.

But after opting to miss a series of World Cup qualifiers for Australia last month, the veteran former Leeds United and Celtic striker has been given the all clear to resume training with the Magpies.

Viduka, who arrived on a free transfer last summer from local rivals Middlesbrough, scored seven times in 28 appearances during his debut season.

Meanwhile, midfielder James Milner is reportedly unhappy with his current contract and seeking a new deal to remain at St James' Park.

The 22-year-old is rumoured to be demanding a pay rise to match the likes of troubled team-mate Joey Barton.

Milner has been linked with moves to Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers this summer, while his first-team opportunities could be limited by the £7million arrival of Argentinian winger Jonas Gutierrez.

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