Souness Targets Belgian

Last updated : 31 May 2005 By Ben Wright

Van Buyten is currently on the books of Bundesliga outfit Hamburg and has been a transfer target of Souness for some time.  The Scot tried to sign him during his reign as Blackburn boss.

The colossal defender, who stands at a massive 6 ft 5ins, has been described by fans at Hamburg as “airspace.” Notably for his height but also for his control over the space at the back.

The bid for Van Buyten is part of a campaign by Souness to toughen up Newcastle defensively. The Belgian International would be the third defender to sign in less than 6 months. Jean Alain Boumsong and Celestine Babayaro both signed back in January. Souness is looking to strengthen the squad during the close season and put his own stamp on the side that he inherited from Sir Bobby Robson.

Last season Souness's first choice pairing was Titus Bramble and Jean-Alain Boumsong, but the presence of Van Buyten would hot up the competition in the squad for central defenders.

Hamburg have insisted that the defender is not for sale, but with reports suggesting that Van Buyten is keen to move, means it may be just a matter of time before the defender arrives at St James’ Park.