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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 July, 2004, 15:21 GMT 16:21 UK
Kluivert joins Newcastle

Patrick Kluivert has signed a three-year deal
Patrick is a great catch
Sir Bobby Robson
Newcastle have signed Patrick Kluivert on a free transfer, with the 28-year-old penning a three-year deal.

Kluivert, who will wear the number 11 shirt vacated by Gary Speed, had been released by Barcelona after six years at the Spanish club.

"I'm feeling 100% fit and I hope to win some big prizes here," said Kluivert.

Manager Sir Bobby Robson said: "He is one of the most significant signings in Newcastle in many years. It is like the feeling when Alan Shearer came home."

Kluivert, who has previously played for Ajax and AC Milan as well as Barcelona, said he was excited by the the prospect of playing in the Premiership.

"It feels really good - it's a dream come true," said the Dutchman. "I always wanted to come to a top club in England and today is the day.

"Last year, Newcastle ended fifth, and the most important thing is to bring the club a little bit higher if it's possible - and I think we can do well also in the Champions League."

He also admitted he was excited about playing alongside Alan Shearer.

Robson has also signed another striker this summer - 18-year-old James Milner - and the manager is hopeful Kluivert will have a positive effect on the youngsters at the club.

"I have known Patrick for many years," he said. "He has immense experience and is an international player of high repute.

"If he reaches anything like his potential he will be very popular here. I think it is a great move for him and he has his best years ahead of him.

"At 28 he is at a good age as we have some very young talented players here and have just lost one of our experienced men in Gary Speed."

Robson now has Kluivert, Shearer, Shola Ameobi and Craig Bellamy available in attack and is happy with the selection problems he will face next season.

He said: "The headache is when we don't have players to choose from - all we have now is a quartet of terrific players."

But the Magpies boss would not be drawn on whether the club will make more signings before the transfer window closes.

Newcastle had been chasing a new striker this summer as they look for a long-term replacement for Shearer, who is retiring at the end of this season.

Kluivert has won 79 caps for Holland and was part of the Dutch squad at Euro 2004 but did not make it onto the pitch during the tournament, with Ruud van Nistelrooy winning the battle to start as the lone striker.

Interview: Patrick Kluivert and Bobby Robson

Viana returns to Portugal
21 Jul 04  |  Newcastle United

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