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Vurnon Anita urges Newcastle to retain Luuk de Jong

Newcastle United midfielder Vurnon Anita is hoping the club land Luuk de Jong on a permanent deal in the summer.

Newcastle United midfielder Vurnon Anita is hoping the club land Luuk de Jong on a permanent deal in the summer, The Northern Echo understands.

De Jong, 23, joined the Magpies on loan from Borussia Mönchengladbach on 29 January, making his English Premier League debut in the Tyne-Wear derby against Sunderland.

The Holland international, who is under contract at Borussia-Park until the summer of 2017, has made eight league appearances — including six starts — for Newcastle in 2014 but has failed to get himself on the score-sheet.

In fact, De Jong has not scored a goal for Glabach or Newcastle in 22 appearances across all competitions this term, with his last competitive goal coming in the 2013 UEFA U-21 Championship against Russia on 9 June 2013.

However, Anita has been impressed with the 23-year-old’s performances, which have earned him an average match rating of 6.61, per WhoScored.com.

“I think Luuk wants to stay beyond the end of the season, and I hope that happens,” said Anita. “He is a very good player, and I think he wants to show everyone that.

“He came in January, and right from the start, he has been doing everything he can to prove himself here at Newcastle. I think he is doing that and I think it would be good for everybody if he could stay past the end of his deal on loan.”

With top scorer Loïc Remy ruled out for this weekend’s clash against Southampton at St Mary’s, De Jong is priced at 3/1 to score at anytime.

Southampton (8/11); Newcastle (15/4); Draw (13/5)

Barcelona slap £12m price-tag on Alex Song

FC Barcelona have placed a £12 million price-tag on defensive midfielder Alex Song, who joined the club from Arsenal for a fee of £15 million in 2012.

Since arriving in Catalunya, the Cameroon international, 26, has failed to establish himself as a first-team regular, due in large part to the presences of Andrés Iniesta, Cesc Fàbregas, Javier Mascherano, Sergi Roberto, Sergio Busquets and Xavi.

The surplus-to-requirements Song has — believe it or not — been linked with a shock summer move to Manchester United in recent times, while Serie A side Napoli are also keen on the 26-year-old, according to talkSPORT.

Earlier this week, fellow Cameroonian Samuel Eto’o urged his compatriot to leave Barcelona for pastures new.

“Song has to leave Barca,” Eto’o told beIN Sports. “At his age, he must play and he could be in the starting XI at any big club.”

Song, whose current deal at the Camp Nou is set to expire in June 2017, has made 26 appearances in all competitions for the Spanish champions this season.

Thu 27 March, 2014
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