Date:Thursday July 20 2006
As Kelvin Davis is set to complete a £1m move to Southampton, Newcastle's Steve Harper has emerged as the surprise choice as his replacement.
Davis should finalise a deal to take him to St Mary's by the end of the week, leaving Sunderland with only youngsters Ben Alnwick and Trevor Carson as first and second choice goalkeepers.
A bit more experience is therefore needed and it has been reported that 31-year old Steve Harper, understudy to Shay Given at Newcastle for several seasons, is a target for the new regime in charge on Wearside.
Despite his age, Harper has managed only 65 appearances in a Newcastle shirt since 1993, due to the consistently high performances of former Sunderland 'keeper Shay Given. And while Newcastle have so far managed to quell Harper's discontent with generous contracts, it is now believed that he finally wants out for first team football, after Given signed a new long term deal.
And while Harper is a greatly underrated 'keeper and would represent a sound signing for the club, it raises more uncertainty as to who is sanctioning such potential comings and goings from the club, given that no manager is yet installed.
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