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Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Newcastle's French fancy to continue

Kristan Heneage

Newcastle's managing director Derek Llambias has revealed the club have yet to conclude their transfer dealings in the French market.

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The Magpies currently possess a dozen French speakers in their first team squad, having added five players from Ligue 1 during the January transfer window.

Their Gallic-centred policy has garnered criticism both domestically and back in France from the likes of Didier Deschamps and Gerard Houllier.

However, the club remain defiant in their beliefs, with Llambias confirming they will continue to work in France while also exploring nearby markets.

"There are still targets in France, by the way. We haven't finished with the French market," he said.

"We want to expand in Europe. We'll be moving around Europe: we already do. Obviously we like the Dutch market, the Belgian market too.

"I mean look at the Belgian national team now, it's outstanding what they've done there. But there are other areas we'll explore too. Kevin [Mbabu] is an excellent prospect, he's 17 and he's a good acquisition for us. We're looking everywhere."

Llambias also confirmed the club have at times widened their search outside of Europe, sending chief scout Graham Carr east to view players in South Korea.

"As for the global markets, well we did look at South Korea and a player from the Chunnam Dragons," he said. "We sent our guys over. Graham [Carr] had a look at him and he wasn't good enough, yet he was one of their star players."

This follows reports last month that Newcastle were lining up as many as ten new youngsters to supplement the club's development squad after a clutch of their current crop were released from their deals.

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