Viana may return to Tyneside

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Newcastle United are considering the possibility of £8.5 million midfielder Hugo Viana returning to the club next season.

Viana arrived on Tyneside in 2002 but failed to produce his best form in the North East and a lack of first team action cost him a place in the Portuguese squad at Euro 2004.

The 22-year-old's poor displays saw him farmed out on a season-long loan to Sporting Lisbon and back in his homeland he has enjoyed a renaissance of the form that made him the European Young Player of the Year in 2002.

Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd admitted manager Graeme Souness has been following Viana's progress in Portugal and is impressed.

"We are all well aware that Hugo is having a good season in Portugal and Graeme is keen to have another look at him," Shepherd told Newcastle's official website.

"Hugo Viana is a very talented player and we paid a lot of money to bring him to Newcastle."

Sporting are reportedly keen to extend Viana's loan for an additional season but Shepherd admits that Newcastle will need to review the situation.

"We would be foolish not to have a look at him again before a decision is made." said Shepherd.

Meanwhile, Newcastle full back Stephen Carr will not line up against Viana in the international friendly at Lansdowne Road between Ireland and Portugal on Wednesday night.

The former Spurs defender is on the comeback trail after missing three months with injury and although he has joined up with the Ireland squad he will not feature this evening.

"We agreed with Graeme Souness that Stephen will not play," explained Ireland manager Brian Kerr.

"He has trained and we are delighted that Newcastle allowed him to come and work with us this week."