I'm staying in Toon - 07/09/2002
Nobby Solano has decided to put his club before his country this season.
This news will be music to the ears of Newcastle United manager Sir Bobby Robson.
For Solano has announced his decision in the same week as Robson has been at loggerheads with Wales over Craig Bellamy.
And even today Lomana LuaLua was forced to link up with the Democratic Republic of Congo after being told by his country they wanted him for tomorrow's African Nations' Cup qualifier with Libya in Tripoli.
LuaLua had earlier said he wanted to stay on Tyneside and prepare for Wednesday's game with Leeds United at St James's Park. Solano and Robson have not seen eye-to-eye in the past when the amiable Peruvian midfielder has returned home to South America to play for Peru.
The only thing the pair of them have agreed on was the fact that Solano always seemed to come back jet-lagged and needed time to get back to his best form.
However, Solano said today: "I will put Newcastle United first this season and I will only play for Peru if they have a friendly in Europe where I can get to easily.
"That would be OK to Newcastle but I accept that going to South America is not on. Peru do not have a manager at the moment and when they do find one I will telephone him and explain to him that I want to concentrate on Newcastle as we have so many games this season.
"Maybe if Peru had a friendly on a Saturday when there are no fixtures and the game is in Europe then perhaps I could go, but we will have to wait and see."
Solano is still determined to be part of the Peru set-up when they host the 2004 Copa America.
This takes place in our close season and it does not cut across United's plans.
And, given the fact that the next World Cup is not until 2006 and the qualifiers won't start until 2004-5, Solano and United both accept that a lot can happen before then.
Newcastle Evening Chronicle
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