Date:Friday October 27 2006
Rumours are circulating the North-East that Nicky Butt may be joining Sunderland from rivals Newcastle in the January transfer window.
Boss Roy Keane, an ex-teammate of Butt's for years at Manchester United, watched Newcastle United's match against Portsmouth this week in which Butt started.
The pair remain close pals and it is widely speculated that they may join up once again, with it a well known fact that Butt is ready to leave Tyneside.
The only factor that would deter Butt from making the short trip is the drop in division, but the idea of working under his old pal will surely be an attractive one to the ex-England international.
Despite Butt's reputation taking a severe dent following his move to Newcastle, the move would represent a significant signing of intent for the club, especially considering his wages are believed to be around £40,000 a week.
The midfielder was voted one of the best players of the 2002 World Cup and Keane will be hoping that he can bring out that form again from Butt should he persuade him to make the move.
It is believed that Newcastle will allow him to leave in January initially on loan, to complete a permanent free transfer next summer.
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