Roeder confirms Grav interest
By Graeme Bailey
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Glenn Roeder has confirmed his liking for Real Madrid's Thomas Gravesen.
Glenn Roeder has confirmed his liking for Real Madrid midfielder Thomas Gravesen.
Newcastle are reported to be leading the chase for the Danish international after Middlesbrough pulled out of the race.
The likes of Portsmouth, Bolton and Everton are also keen - but Roeder has now admitted that Newcastle are interested in the 30-year-old.
"It is natural speculation for Thomas to be linked with us because of the connection with Michael Owen as they were at Real Madrid together," Roeder told Sky Sports News.
"And secondly he and his agent say there is a desire to return to The Premiership and we as always would be interested in a player of the highest quality, so if he was to become available I suppose us and many clubs in The Premiership would show an interest but I do certainly admire him as a player."
Roeder though ruled out moves for Gravesen's Real team-mate and former Magpies defender Jonathan Woodgate and Empoli's Francesco Tavano.
"It hadn't crossed my mind and the chairman and I haven't spoken about that," he said about Woodgate.
"I wish Jonathan all the best for the coming season, I just hope he remains injury free because he has been unlucky to be injured as much as he has, in my opinion Jonathan would have been a major player at the World Cup if he had proven his fitness - because he is a top drawer central defender."
On Tavano Roeder was less than amused by the player's representatives who had claimed that talks would be taking place with The Magpies this weekend.
"I get disappointed when agents say we are about to have talks, not true and I am not aware of the player," said Roeder.
"We have spoken with our contacts in Italy and we didn't get the sort of feedback we would be looking for and to piggy-back Newcastle United to find a club for this player, who I haven't seen, gives agents a bad name and this agent has not done the brotherhood much favours."
Roeder admitted that strikers were still high up on his wanted list.
"We have got to be patient, there is no point in signing a striker or two a few weeks ago if a month after you think why have I signed these?
"We are researching as much as we can and are working as hard as we can, I will be going to Holland twice over the weekend so we can't work any harder than we are - but don't forget the squad is already a very strong squad.
"We must not forget we have a very decent squad but we do want to add to it - as we will be attacking on four fronts.
"Having two strikers leaves us woefully short as most Premiership clubs have four strikers in their squad to choose from."
Roeder refused to divulge his Dutch targets, simply confirming they would be watching The Amsterdam Tournament and Arsenal's friendly at Alkmaar.
"The Amsterdam Tournament is a good one to be at, David Mills is at the Arsenal game at AZ Alkmaar. And then another game on Sunday afternoon."
Although Roeder would not say who the game was against on Sunday, it is believed he and assistant Kevin Bond would be looking at Middlesbrough's trip to Feyenoord - where Dirk Kuyt, continually linked with Newcastle and many English sides - would be featuring.
Roeder confirmed that the injured Michael Owen was currently on holiday to give him a bit of time off before major rehab on his knee starts.
"Michael Owen has been away in Portugal for a few days," he added.
"We thought we could allow him to do that and he has been having rehab and working hard but there is only so much you can do at this stage so we thought it would be nice for him to go away."