Unsettled Middlesbrough striker Mark Viduka has been told he’s no
longer wanted by the club. This is a huge about face by manager Steve
McClaren who, just a couple of months into last season, spoke of how
indispensable the big Socceroo striker was to his tilt at both the
Premier League and going forward in European competition.

Viduka’s cause hasn’t been helped by a
long run of injuries that kept him out of the team when it needed
him most, particularly late last season as their title hopes and
Champions League qualification aspirations collapsed.

Speculation now has him set to join fellow Socceroo Craig Moore at Newcastle United
for a fee suggested at around four million pounds.

There’s also speculation surrounding a possible transfer of Michael Owen
back to the Premiership from Real Madrid. Arsenal, Liverpool and
Chelsea have already ruled out making a move for the
England striker, leaving Manchester United as his likely destination. England’s World Cup chances in 2006
would undoubtedly benefit from teaming Owen with fellow striker Wayne Rooney at club level.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey