Neill a no-go for Newcastle

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Newcastle have ended their interest in West Ham full-back Lucas Neill after being told he is not for sale.

Manager Joe Kinnear revealed on Thursday that the Magpies had made an enquiry about the Australian as they attempt to find cover for Habib Beye, who is facing at least another 10 weeks on the sidelines with an ankle injury. However, after initial contact was made, the Hammers have insisted Neill is not for sale.

A Newcastle spokesman said: "In looking to strengthen our squad, the club has been exploring a number of possibilities during the transfer window. With regards to Lucas Neill, West Ham United have made it clear he is a player they value as a highly important member of their squad and who they have no desire to sell."

He continued: "Newcastle United respect West Ham's position and will therefore not be pursing this matter."

West Ham released a statement on their own website which read: "West Ham would like to make it clear that Lucas Neill is a contracted West Ham United player and that we have received no approach from any club for his services, including Newcastle United.

"We are astonished by reports that a Premier League manager has claimed contact with one of our players."

The development came at the end of an eventful two days for the Magpies, who slipped out of the FA Cup as the result of a 1-0 third round replay defeat by Hull at St James' Park.

Hours earlier, the club had tabled a £5million bid for Rennes midfielder Stephane Mbai and a £4million offer for a second player, understood to be St Etienne striker Bafetimbi Gomis.

In addition, traillist Peter Lovenkrands and two potential loan signings, one from Argentina and the other from Italy, will play in a behind-closed-doors practice match next Tuesday to give Kinnear a chance to see them in action at close hand.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Habib Beye
Premier League
Newcastle United
Lucas Neill
West Ham United
Hull City
FA Cup

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