Sir Bobby bids for van Buyten?

Last updated : 08 January 2003 By Martyn Elliott

Sir Bobby is reported to have held talks with Freddy Shepherd earlier in the week and been given the go ahead to strengthen the defence, and has reacted by making a bid for the World Cup star.

However despite their huge financial problems the French club is reported to be reluctant to sell.

The player though is apparently keen to come and has been quoted in the French press as saying: "It is a question between the two clubs, but yes, I would be interested. Newcastle are an interesting club and they are in the Champions League at the moment."

Van Buyten has received a glowing recommendation from former Toon hero Philippe Albert, who said: "I actually played against Van Buyten three years ago when I returned to Charleroi and he was with Standard Liege,

"He is a good player. He's big and he's quick and technically sound and I am sure he would do a great job for my former club.

"He could certainly go across to England and play straightaway in the Premiership.

"The only reservation I would have is about the fee. I keep hearing the figure £8 million but that is too much for any defender - especially as there seems to be a shortage of money in just about every country."