Bowyer speculation reaches new level

Last updated : 20 May 2003 By Martyn Elliott

The Sun, The Guardian and the Evening Standard are among the papers which claim that the free agent is on the verge of signing a five-year deal with Newcastle, collecting wages of around £40,000 per week, while BBC Radio 5Live’s 10am sports bulletin described the move as a "done deal".

The England midfielder endured a spell of poor form after moving to West Ham in January and has been released by the club, less than a year after Liverpool were prepared to pay Leeds £9million for his services.

Newcastle have refused to make any comment on the story, but the Hammers' stand-in manager Trevor Brooking told the BBC that he wouldn’t be surprised if the move went ahead.

However all is not yet lost as the 26-year-old is currently suffering from a persistent ankle injury and may need an operation before being able to pass a medical.