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West Ham 20:00 Newcastle

Souness keen on Toon return

Former Magpies boss would take St James' post

Last Updated: 13/01/08 5:27pm

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Souness: Keen on Toon return

Souness: Keen on Toon return

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Former Newcastle boss Graeme Souness would welcome a second chance at St James' Park.

Harry Redknapp turned down the Magpies vacancy on Saturday following Sam Allardyce's brief tenure, with the St James' Park side searching for their seventh manager in 10 years.

Souness endured a difficult spell from 2004-06 as Toon boss under Freddy Shepherd, but would be happy to return to Tyneside under new owner Mike Ashley and chairman Chris Mort.

Big club

Asked on Sky Sports 1 if he would be interested in going back, Souness said: "With [there now being] a different chairman, most certainly."

When pressed on whether he would take the job if it was offered to him, he added: "In a heartbeat. It is a big club, one of the big clubs out there.

"It has got the potential to be one of the best. But it's not a quick fix, and whoever goes in there is going to need certainly a minimum of three or four years."

Choice

Newcastle spent vast sums on transfers during Souness' tenure - including the signing of Michael Owen from Real Madrid - but the Scot refuted the suggestion he was fully backed by then-chairman Shepherd.

"I would argue that point because at the end of the day my first choice was (Nicolas) Anelka and (Luis) Boa Morte.

"I was told, when I spoke to the people in Turkey, when Anelka was for sale at that time, that he could be bought. But I was told he wasn't for sale and couldn't be bought.

"So instead of us spending the £12million there, we bought Albert Luque for £10million and Michael Owen for £16million."

Asked whether those were his decisions, Souness said: "No. I was told Albert Luque would cost £2million."

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