CHRIS Hughton has ruled out an emotional return to Newcastle United for Nolberto Solano.
The winger trained over the weekend with Hughton's players after a spell on trial at League One side Colchester United.
And the sight of Solano back at the club's Benton HQ led to speculation that the 35-year-old was on the brink of signing with Newcastle for a third time.
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However, Hughton has clarified Solano's presence at United, calling it a "courtesy".
"He trained with us, and it was a courtesy thing," Hughton told the Gazette. "He's an ex-player and very popular in the area, and he was just training with us. There's nothing in that one – we've had other former players train with us, and it's not unusual."
Solano, for his part, is understood to be keen to win a short-term deal at the club.
The development came after striker Jermaine Beckford, the subject of a 1.5m bid from Newcastle, withdrew his transfer request at Leeds United.
Hughton added: "Jermaine's out of the equation now. He was one of a few players we're interested in. There are targets we're looking at, and we won't be panicking over anybody who decides not to join us."
Beckford's decision followed that of Sheffield United defender Matthew Kilgallon opted to stay at Bramall Lane last month, and the revelation that talks with on-loan right-back Danny Simpson over a permanent move to St James's Park had broken down.
Worryingly, United's revised wages structure appears to be an obstacle to recruitment in the window.
All three were keen to join the club, but in Simpson's case, the Manchester United player was unwilling to accept a deal which would have left him among the club's lowest earners.
However, there is still time for Newcastle to put an improved offer to Simpson's representative, though as it stands, he will return to Old Trafford after tonight's home game against West Bromwich Albion.
Meanwhile, Kilgallon and Beckford, like Simpson, will be free agents in the summer.
And as such, they know they will be able to command sizeable deals elsewhere if they see out the rest of their contracts.
And Hughton – who hinted last week he was ready to again use the loan system – has been left to look at other targets.
For the first match report from St James's Park tonight, log on to www.shieldsgazette.com after the game