NEWCASTLE boss Graeme Souness has revealed he made an audacious bid to sign Nolberto Solano during the January transfer window.

The Peruvian winger was sold by Sir Bobby Robson to Aston Villa just over a year ago with the former Magpies manager criticised by many Newcastle fans for the cut-price £1.5m deal.

Souness was rebuffed by Villa in his attempts last month but refused to rule out another move for the 30-year-old in the summer, and indicated that the player himself would welcome a move back to Tyneside.

"I tried to buy him back in January," said Souness, speaking on Radio Newcastle last night.

"I've always liked him and I know how popular he was here.

"That was my information at the time (Solano wanted to return) but I was told he would be sold under no circumstances."

Solano became a firm fans favourite during his five-year spell, and a return to Newcastle would be welcomed by many of the St James' Park faithful.

Souness also insisted that for Laurent Robert to become a regular under him, he would have to use him more defensively week in week out.

Robert provided a pin-point cross on Sunday that led to Patrick Kluivert's winner against Chelsea, but the 51-year-old Scot wants to see more of the enigmatic Frenchman in his own third helping out the defence.

Souness said: "I am a 4-4-2 person. I just think with Laurent Robert - he's played in more or less half the games since I've been at the club - I want more from him. I don't think he gives the team enough.

"Laurent has a lot to offer this football club but I have to ask for more.

"On the right hand side we've got James Milner but it's not really his position. We've played Craig Bellamy there, Jermaine Jenas, Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer there.

"All of them do a job but I'm not overboard about any of them there.

"Until we get the right personnel in, and if we have the right personnel in then I am a 4-4-2 man. Always have been always will be.

"Always as a player and everything I've achieved as a manager has been with 4-4-2.

"I am the most attack-minded coach this club has had in recent history."

Souness also warned the players whom he believes aren't pulling their weight would not be at St James' Park for very much longer.

"I think we have some great players at the is club and some who are not up to scratch and hopefully we can get better ones in in the summer," said Souness, whose side take a 2-1 lead into the home UEFA Cup game against Dutch outfit Heerenveen tomorrow.

"I think the three we signed in the January window (Boumsong, Babayaro and Faye) will be really good players at this club.

"I think you give everything you've got for your football club. That's been my attitude as a player and a manager.

"I get angry with people when I don't see that commitment and that's when I have problems with people.

"I believe you must give everything and more to the cause. If you can't give that then I don't want to work with you.

"The ones who are at this football club and don't want to give that then they won't be here very long.

"I'm only interested in one thing - what every single Newcastle fan wants - something in the trophy cabinet."

Meanwhile, chairman Freddy Shepherd has confirmed the club will decide at the end of the season whether or not Patrick Kluivert stays at St James' Park.

The former Barcelona man scored the winner on Sunday against Chelsea that took the Magpies through to the last eight of the FA Cup, and the chairman was impressed with his response.

"Patrick Kluivert's future at St James' Park is in his own hands, it's up to him," said Shepherd.

"The option as to whether Kluivert stays or not is only on Newcastle United's side. However, we would not keep him if he did not want to stay.

"The way he reacted when he scored and shaking his fists when the referee blew the final whistle on Sunday showed just how much it meant to him."

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