Xisco could dance again at Newcastle

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Spanish misfit Xisco will get another chance to prove himself as Newcastle prepare to launch their pre-season campaign.

The 24-year-old, whose £5.7million arrival at St James' Park at the end of the 2008 summer transfer window was a factor in then manager Kevin Keegan's departure, will be involved in the Magpies' opening friendly at Carlisle on Saturday.

Xisco scored three times in 23 appearances for Racing Santander after being sent out on loan last season.

However, with Racing having yet to show any signs of securing his services on a permanent basis, he has returned to stake his claim for a place in manager Chris Hughton's plans.

Hughton said: "Xisco is in very good spirits, but that's what his personality has been like during his time with the club. I think he looks at everything as an opportunity."

He added: "Last season, we allowed him to go on loan to Racing Santander, and what we need to do now is assess him and then make decisions.

"He's still young and in the pre-season we will see how he is and take it from there."

Former Spain Under-21 international Xisco has three years remaining on his current deal, but he is yet to produce anything like the form which prompted the Tyneside club to invest so heavily in him.

However, with little cash available to Hughton to strengthen his squad this summer, he could yet prove either a useful addition to the manager's resources, or a source of revenue if he can move him on.

Meanwhile, the Magpies are keeping their own counsel on their pursuit of Everton midfielder Dan Gosling amid reports the 20-year-old, who is currently recovering from a serious knee injury, has agreed a four-year contract.

It is understood the club has done much of the groundwork and their interest is ongoing, but no deal has yet been completed.

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