Souness snaps up £6m Emre

Last updated at 11:05 19 June 2005


Newcastle have beaten Everton in the race to sign Inter Milan midfielder Emre Belozoglu as Graeme Souness continues his spending spree.

St James' Park officials are understood to have flown to Monaco to discuss terms with the Turkey international, who is expected to sign for £6million by the end of the week.

The arrival of Emre, 24, comes days after the £6.5m capture of Scott Parker from Chelsea. Souness is keen to rebuild the side in an attempt to transform them from Premiership strugglers to top-four challengers.

Meanwhile Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd insists Souness must be the man who decides whether Craig Bellamy plays for the club again.

The 25-year-old Wales international spent the second half of last season on loan at Celtic after his bust-up with Souness, who has since promised that Bellamy will never feature in his team again.

Shepherd fully backed the stance taken by Souness after Bellamy branded him a liar in a live television interview.

And although there have been hints in recent weeks that the chairman's stance has softened, he is adamant that only Souness can decide to give him another chance.

"You will have to ask the manager that one, that is up to Graeme, but there is a long way to go yet before the start of the season," Shepherd told BBC Five Live's Sportsweek show.

"Everybody will tell you I am a forgiving chap; whether or not he plays for Newcastle again is up to the manager."

Whether the frontman's ability should pave the way for a reprieve, Shepherd replied: "He should have thought of that when he said what he said on Sky."

Bellamy's future has been the subject of speculation since he fell out of favour at St James' Park in January.

Celtic have not taken up an option to sign Bellamy permanently, and so far no other club has come up with a viable alternative.

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