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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 May, 2003, 11:20 GMT 12:20 UK
Bowyer bides his time
Lee Bowyer spent four months at West Ham
Bowyer may be tempted back into claret and blue - by Villa
Lee Bowyer's advisors have told BBC Sport they are in no hurry to tie up the England midfielder's future.

The former Leeds star is a free agent after a four-month deal with West Ham ended in relegation this month.

Newcastle are believed to have agreed a five-year deal to take the midfielder to St James' Park.

But a spokesman for Bowyer's representatives, Skillequal, reiterated that agent David Giess is talking to more than one club about the player's future.

Aston Villa may be interested in a move for the midfielder following the appointment of Bowyer's former Leeds boss David O'Leary.

And Arsenal and Chelsea have also been linked with the player since Newcastle's talks with Bowyer became common knowledge.

But, with the player currently away on holiday, his representatives are in no hurry to make any announcement.

"We have said from the start that we are talking to a couple of clubs and that remains the case," said a Skillequal spokesman.

"But we have never set a time frame and are not in any hurry."

Newcastle are believed to have offered a five-year contract worth an estimated 40,000 per week, with only a medical standing in the way of a move.

But O'Leary could also be tempted to move quickly in a bid to make his first Villa Park signing a free one.

"He is an excellent boy in every sense of the word," O'Leary said following Bowyer's move to West Ham four months ago.

"He does at times do silly things on the pitch. And he really has got to cut out his stupid bits.

"But I'm convinced he will because he is mature enough now to realise you cannot go on doing the kind of things he did."

Newcastle refused to comment on the claims that a deal had already been agreed.

A spokesperson for the club said: "Our policy remains that we will only comment if and when we sign a player, but until such time we have nothing more to say."

Magpies boss Sir Bobby Robson is a known admirer of the mercurial star, despite his many off-field problems.

And Bowyer is likely to be keen on a move to St James' Park, setting up a reunion with former Leeds team-mate Jonathan Woodgate.

The biggest stumbling block could be the troublesome ankle injury which dogged Bowyer's short stay at West Ham.

The England midfielder may need an operation to cure the problem.

Newcastle were linked with Bowyer when he left Leeds in January, though the player was keen to join West Ham, the club he supported as a boy.

But Bowyer made it clear that he would only sign a long-term deal at Upton Park if the club retained their Premiership status.

Last season, he was close to a move to Liverpool, but a reported 9m deal collapsed when Bowyer failed to agree personal terms with Reds boss Gerard Houllier.

Should Newcastle sign free agent Lee Bowyer?
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