NEWCASTLE UNITED remain interested in Norwegian star Morten Gamst Pedersen, despite missing the opportunity to see him in action on Thursday night.

Magpies chief scout Charlie Woods was expected to watch the young striker play for Tromso against Staebek.

However, The Northern Echo understands that no-one from Newcastle was in the stands to watch struggling Tromso lose 3-1 at home to their First Division counterparts.

Pedersen, hailed as Norway's answer to David Beckham, had scored five goals in six games prior to Thursday night.

But, after a lacklustre display at the Alfheim Stadium, Pedersen will have been relieved that Newcastle failed to show.

Now Woods is expected to watch skilful striker Pedersen, who plays left-midfield for his country, play for Norway's Under-21s against Denmark in Copenhagen next Friday.

The 21-year-old's agent, Rune Hauge, would not confirm Newcastle's interest, though he revealed there are a number of clubs chasing his signature.

"There is more than one club interested in him," said Hauge, who was told to earn a move for the player in March.

"I can confirm (Newcastle's interest) but there is certainly interest from northern Europe, a lot of it.

"It's England, Germany, Belgium and Dutch clubs who are looking at Pedersen.

"He is one of the best players I have had and he is a rare winger who can play both sides. He is also good in the air and he has a lot of pace."

Pedersen, who missed out on a lucrative switch to the Premiership last year with Middlesbrough despite impressing on a week-long trial in 2001, only signed a five-year deal last May.

Tromso, currently battling against relegation, rate the attacker in the £4m bracket, but they know they are likely to recoup as little as £1.5m for the player.

Meanwhile, Charlton's Paul Konchesky is the latest player to be linked with a move to Newcastle this summer.

The versatile youngster won his only full England cap to date in February's defeat to Australia and is tipped to become a future international regular in the left-back position.

Robson is keen to add a left-back to his squad and is also known to be a big admirer of Southampton's Wayne Bridge.

* Newcastle legend Malcolm Macdonald will become the latest hero to make his mark in the Wall of Fame at St James' Metro station on Monday.

Macdonald will literally follow in the footsteps of manager Robson, and greats Bobby Moncur, Alan Shearer, Shay Given, Peter Beardsley by having his footprint immortalised in concrete.

Macdonald said: "I am extremely honoured to be joining a select band of Newcastle legends."

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