Viduka looks set to move to Newcastle

LONDON Tue Jun 5, 2007 2:22pm BST

In this file picture, Fulham's Michael Brown (L) falls as he tackles Middlesbrough's Mark Viduka during their English Premier league match at Craven Cottage Stadium in London, December 18, 2006. Newcastle United have ''agreed in principle'' to sign Viduka from Middlesbrough, media reported on Tuesday. NO ONLINE/INTERNET USAGE WITHOUT A LICENCE FROM THE FOOTBALL DATA CO LTD. FOR LICENCE ENQUIRIES PLEASE TELEPHONE +44 (0) 207 864 9000. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

In this file picture, Fulham's Michael Brown (L) falls as he tackles Middlesbrough's Mark Viduka during their English Premier league match at Craven Cottage Stadium in London, December 18, 2006. Newcastle United have ''agreed in principle'' to sign Viduka from Middlesbrough, media reported on Tuesday. NO ONLINE/INTERNET USAGE WITHOUT A LICENCE FROM THE FOOTBALL DATA CO LTD. FOR LICENCE ENQUIRIES PLEASE TELEPHONE +44 (0) 207 864 9000.

Credit: Reuters/Luke MacGregor

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LONDON (Reuters) - Newcastle United have "agreed in principle" to sign Australian striker Mark Viduka from north-east rivals Middlesbrough, media reported on Tuesday.

Manchester City midfielder Joey Barton was in talks with Newcastle and was at St James' Park for a medical on Tuesday.

Viduka scored 19 times for Middlesbrough in the season just ended and the club were keen to keep him at the Riverside.

Newcastle have twice tried to sign the 31-year-old who has also attracted interest from newly-promoted Birmingham City, West Ham United and Portsmouth.

Viduka, who will be in Australia's squad for the Asian Cup in July, joined Middlesbrough in July 2004 under then manager Steve McClaren in a 4.5 million pound deal from Leeds United.

If he moves to Newcastle, Viduka would play under new boss Sam Allardyce, who has also targeted Barton.

Manchester City were reported to be talking with both Newcastle and West Ham about Barton, who is facing police charges after allegedly assaulting City team mate Ousmane Dabo during training in April.

Newcastle's moves for Viduka and Barton follow the departures of midfielder Scott Parker to West Ham and defender Titus Bramble to Wigan Athletic in the last week.

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