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Sunday, February 17

Premier League

Newcastle United

Miguel Almiron 'ready to begin training with Newcastle'

The club's record signing has spent the past few days in France.
By Damian Spellman, | 10d

Newcastle's record signing Miguel Almiron was due to train with his team-mates for the first time on Wednesday after being awarded his work permit.

The 24-year-old Paraguay international, who completed a deadline-day move to St James' Park from Major League Soccer side Atlanta United, had to leave the country while the paperwork was completed and he headed for Paris in the meantime.

However, Press Association Sport understands Almiron is back in the north east and was expected to join his colleagues at the club's Darsley Park training headquarters on Wednesday morning.

The playmaker is understood to have cost the Magpies in the region of £21million after a prolonged January pursuit which went close to the wire.

His name was at the top of manager Rafael Benitez's wish-list as he attempted to strengthen his squad ahead of a final push for Premier League survival.

Full-back Antonio Barreca, who also arrived on Tyneside last week in a loan deal from Monaco, made his debut as a substitute in Saturday's 1-0 defeat by Tottenham at Wembley.

Almiron could get his chance when the Magpies head for high-flying Wolves on Monday evening.

His capture represented a significant shift in a saga which has dogged the club in the last year or so, with owner Mike Ashley refusing to spend heavily in the transfer market while interested parties sought to put together workable takeover plans, and Benitez declining to sign a contract extension without assurances over the current regime's ambition.

The Spaniard is out of contract in the summer and, while he is keen to stay, there is little doubt he is frustrated at having to negotiate a second scrap for safety having expected to be given the chance to build upon last season's top-10 finish.

Whether or not Ashley's decision to invest in Almiron represents a rapprochement remains to be seen, with sources on Tyneside having indicated there has been no development on the contract front in the last week.

However, the fact the sportswear magnate sanctioned a club-record purchase for the first time in his near 12-year tenure perhaps provided a pointer as to the chances of the club being sold in the short term.



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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
2Liverpool26205159154465
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs26200654252960
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
5Arsenal26155653371650
6Chelsea26155645291650
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2611693433139
8Watford2610793434037
9Everton2796123639-333
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
11Bournemouth26103133747-1033
12Leicester CityLeicester2695123134-332
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2676132839-1127
15Burnley2676132947-1827
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2645172558-3317
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
2Liverpool26205159154465
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs26200654252960
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
5Arsenal26155653371650
6Chelsea26155645291650
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2611693433139
8Watford2610793434037
9Everton2796123639-333
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
11Bournemouth26103133747-1033
12Leicester CityLeicester2695123134-332
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2676132839-1127
15Burnley2676132947-1827
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2645172558-3317
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411
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