Date: 2nd August 2007 at 3:15pm
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Alan Smith is set to leave Manchester United as the club have agreed a fee with Newcastle United.

Smudger is now negotiating personal terms at the Toon but Magpies manager Sam Allardyce admitted they might not be his first option.

The fee is believed to be Ł6m but Smith has offers from other clubs as well though none of them has reached an agreement with the Red Devils yet. Allardyce said he hoped Newcastle would be top of the Yorkshireman’s list.

Well, one thing is now certain: Smith will leave the club after three years. He’s won a League Cup and a Premiership title with the club, made 93 appearances in which he scored 12 goals.

He started his United career brightly, scoring a memorable goal against Norwich in his Premiership game. He then lost his place in the side due to Wayne Rooney’s and Ruud van Nistelrooy’s recovery from injury.

His second season saw a dramatic change: he had been converted into a midfield enforcer. Did fairly well in that job but it was clear it wasn’t his greatest strength. In February 2006, he suffered a horrible injury at Anfield in an FA Cup tie and did not return to the pitch until the following season, his last at the club.

Sir Alex decided that he would use Smudger as a striker again but he scored only one goal, a goal you all remember I think: our second against Roma on that electric night. He did reasonably well in his last few games but it was clear he’s not the same player he had been before his injury.

I’d say he had never been lightning-fast but after his injury he’s lost some of his pace and could not compensate it with skill or vision, unfortunately. He could still be useful for the team as a squad player but I understand we need to recoup something of the massive money spent on securing Anderson, Nani and Hargreaves.

The problem is, the sale of Rossi and Smith means that we have THREE strikers in the squad and one of them is 34-years-old who had had several knee operations. If we can’t secure Tevez…