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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 August 2005, 16:54 GMT 17:54 UK
Viana agrees Valencia loan move
Hugo Viana
Newcastle winger Hugo Viana has agreed a season-long loan deal with Valencia.

The 22-year-old Portugal international held talks with Celta Vigo and had been linked with Deportivo La Coruna after being frozen out at Newcastle.

But Valencia swooped to sign Viana after former Arsenal star Edu suffered a serious knee injury in training.

Newcastle signed Viana from Sporting Libson for 8.5m in July 2002, but he failed to settle and spent most of last season back on loan at his former club.

He made 42 appearances for the Portuguese side, who reached the Uefa Cup final.

Sporting were thought to be keen to sign Viana, valued at 5m by Newcastle, on a permanent basis but a move never materialised.

Included in the package taking him to the Mestalla is an option for Valencia to make the transfer permanent after the loan, and an undisclosed loan fee.

Viana's new team finished just seventh in last season's Primera Liga, a year after being crowned champions.

The free transfer signing of Edu, who was out of contract at Highbury, looked sure to galvanise them for the new season, but he is likely to be absent for six months.

The door opened for manager Quique Sanchez Flores to bring in Viana, who has proven himself a capable player for Sporting and Portugal but struggled to adapt to the English game.

Flores had said: "I think we are going to have big problems if we start the season with only one creative player in that role.

"It is a serious problem and we have to look for solutions. I need a substitute for Edu."

Viana was an unused substitute in Newcastle's reserve-team match against Liverpool on Monday, and while his exit leaves boss Graeme Souness down a man, it also unburdens the club of his wages. He becomes Valencia's ninth summer signing.


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