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14 July 2011, 09:35
After both Joey Barton and Nile Ranger had their American visa applications rejected Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew's having to re-think his team.
Midfielder Barton, 28, and 20-year-old striker Ranger had their applications rejected yesterday and will instead join the reserves on their trip to Holland rather than the rest of the first-team squad in the United States.
The Magpies had hoped Barton in particular might be allowed to travel on Sunday as he has kept himself largely out of trouble since he was jailed for assault in 2008.
However, the former Manchester City player, who spent time on holiday in the States last month, revealed via his Twitter account that he had been told by the US Embassy in London that he will have to keep his nose clean for a total of five years before his is granted the necessary documentation to return with his club.
Ranger's absence from the trip was confirmed late yesterday afternoon in a brief club statement, it said:
'Newcastle United FC can confirm that Nile Ranger's visa application for entry to the United States has today been rejected.
'The player will therefore not travel to the US as part of the club's pre-season tour, but instead will join Joey Barton and his fellow team-mates on the club's reserve team tour to Holland.'
The two men are currently in very different situations at the club, although both could conceivably leave Tyneside this summer.
Barton remains a key part of Pardew's plans, but his contract is due to expire next summer and he has been told he will not be offered a new one after failing to agree a deal in January.
In the circumstances, an offer of around £4million could persuade the club to sell him now rather than lose him for free in 12 months' time, although Pardew has not yet given up hope of a compromise.
By contrast, Ranger, who got himself into trouble as a schoolboy in London, has been told he can look for a new club after failing to force his way into Pardew's long-term plans.
Senegal international Demba Ba has already arrived at St James' Park this summer and the Magpies are still on the trail of at least one more frontman, with Paris St Germain's Mevlut Erding still a target despite less than encouraging noises from France over the weekend.
But with Shola Ameobi and Peter Lovenkrands ahead of them in the pecking order, both Ranger and Leon Best have been left in little doubt as to what lies ahead if they remain on Tyneside.
Newcastle will play three games during their trip, against Sporting Kansas, Orlando City and Columbus Crew, while the reserves will line up against Hollandia, FC Utrecht and Almere City.