Newcastle United’s Peter Lovenkrands eyed up by Rangers

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RANGERS are weighing up a move for Newcastle striker Peter Lovenkrands.

Lovenkrands spent six successful years at Ibrox earlier in his career. And it is understood that the Scottish Premier League club are interested in taking him back north of the border.

Lovenkrands – who has a year left on his St James’s Park contract – knows his opportunities are likely to be limited this season.

The versatile 31-year-old enjoyed a run in Alan Pardew’s side in the second half of last season after the sale of Andy Carroll, scoring six goals.

However, with Pardew desperate to add another striker to his squad before the end of the month, Lovenkrands is likely to start the new campaign on the bench, though he is part of his plans.

And Pardew would be reluctant to lose striking cover should his Ibrox counterpart Ally McCoist firm up his interest in Lovenkrands.

Speaking while on tour with United in the US last month, Lovenkrands conceded he faces stiffer competition this season.

“I just hope to get as much playing time as possible,” he said. “But there are a lot of new faces, so it’s going to be harder to get playing time.

Rangers would offer Lovenkrands – whose wife is from Glasgow – regular first-team football.

Lovenkrands remains popular on the Ibrox terraces, and the former Denmark international was given a standing ovation after last season’s pre-season friendly between the two clubs.

* Newcastle striker Phil Airey is set to join Hibs on a six-month loan.

Easter Road manager Colin Calderwood worked with the 19-year-old during his time coaching at St James’s Park.

Calderwood tried to sign Airey last season, but a move fell through after the Amble-born player suffered a hamstring injury. And with Airey will be allowed to leave this month to gain first-team experience in the Scottish Premier League.

Airey made just one brief senior appearance for Newcastle in pre-season, coming off the bench in the club’s 3-1 win at Gateshead earlier this month.

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew farmed out Michael Richardson to Leyton Orient last week, and the midfielder netted in the League One club’s Carling Cup win over Southend United. And Pardew has pledged to allow more young players out on loan.