Newcastle United round-up: Waddle compares Thauvin to Ribery, Austin fitness questioned

A round-up of the latest news from St James's Park, as the Magpies prepare for a trip to Old Trafford this weekend.

Newcastle United legend Chris Waddle has heaped praise on new Magpies signing Florian Thauvin, with the 54-year-old even comparing the France Under-21 star to the likes of Michel Platini and Franck Ribery in an interview with the Chronicle.

“I’ve always been a fan of the kid," he said. "I saw him playing for France Under-21s and he was the player who caught the eye when on the ball.

“Everybody was talking about this kid three or four years ago. He has been spoken about in the same breath as Michel Platini and Franck Ribery."

A slanging match has taken place between reported Newcastle target Charlie Austin, and one of the other clubs that were said to be chasing him, West Ham, after co-chairman David Sullivan questioned the QPR striker's knees.

Austin quickly took to social media to hit back at the claims, which surely must put an end to any hopes the Hammers had of signing the former Burnley man, which had been claimed by the likes of the Chronicle.

“It is one of a number of inaccurate reports about my so-called injury problems which have been made over the summer," he published on Twitter.

“For a senior figure at a Premier League club to insinuate that I could break down at any moment is an outrageous slur on my professionalism and the work that has gone into making me the footballer than I am today."

Newcastle have so far failed to meet the 26-year-old's asking price despite being frontrunners for his signature for much of the summer, and Sulllivan's comments may well mean the Magpies have one less suitor to worry about as the transfer window approaches.

And finally, Steve McClaren has urged critics of his side not to read too much into their performances or results until at least 12 matches into the Premier League season.

With a difficult trip to Old Trafford scheduled for this weekend, the former Old Trafford assistant is quoted by the Shields Gazette as insisted his side have been encouraging, and will only get better.

“Every game is tough," McClaren said.

“Like I said at the beginning of the season, I don’t think you can judge us until we are 12 games in.

“Last week [against Southampton] was very encouraging, this week I thought the first 40 minutes we recovered well after a bright start."

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