Newcastle United stick with bid for Douglas

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NEWCASTLE United won’t get dragged into a bidding war over target Douglas.

Fulham and West Ham United are also keen on signing the FC Twente defender.

Newcastle have lodged a bid for Douglas, who said he wanted to stay at the Dutch club after playing against Inter Turku in a Europea League qualifier last night.

The 24-year-old also insisted he knew nothing of the £3m offer United have made for him. However, Douglas would only be informed if his club accepted a bid for him and he and his representative were allowed to discuss personal terms.

“For me, it’s not concrete – I just want to stay at FC Twente,” Douglas is quoted as saying in Holland.

Newcastle were hopeful of pushing through a deal for Douglas this week, but the two clubs, up to now, haven’t been able to agree a fee for the Brazilian, who becomes a Dutch citizen next month.

And they will move on to other targets rather than become embroilled in a bidding war for Douglas.

Meanwhile, one deal that could happen in the meantime is that for Le Mans striker Anthony Koura, who scored two goals for Newcastle reserves in a 3-1 behind-closed-doors friendly win over Hamilton Academical yesterday.

The 19-year-old, a France Under-19 international, would add depth to Alan Pardew’s striking options.

Newcastle end their tour of Germany and Austria with a game against Fenerbahce tomorrow.

Pardew was pleased with what he saw in the club’s last friendly – Monday’s 1-0 win over Monaco – and he’s confident of another strong performance in Ritzing, where the Turkish team will be well supported.

The mood behind the scenes has been upbeat and positive, in contrast to the club’s problematic and gruelling tour of the United States last summer.

And Pardew’s hopeful the team spirit in evidence off the pitch on tour will be translated on to the field of play against Fenerbahce.

“The mood’s very good,” Pardew said. “We had a good performance against Monaco. They were a strong team who had great individual players, and our lads are looking good. The first game (a 1-0 defeat to Chemnitzer) was a tough one, because they’ll play in their opening game this weekend. They were ahead of us, and it showed.”

Newcastle’s players went white-water rafting on Wednesday, and went out for a team meal that night for Pardew’s 51st birthday.

“Getting pre-season right is an art,” said Pardew. “You want everybody pulling in the same direction.”

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