Phil Brown takes gamble on ex-Newcastle bad boy Nile Ranger

Nile Ranger, left
Nile Ranger, left
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Former Newcastle United striker Nile Ranger is set to join Southend United.

The Echo report that the 25-year-old – who hasn't played a competitive game since November 2014 – is due to start training at the League One club today.

Ranger is a free agent after leaving Blackpool earlier this year following an intervention from the Professional Footballers' Association.

The former England Under-19 international's career has been beset by off-the-field incidents.

Ranger – whose contract at Newcastle was terminated by "mutual consent" in March 2013 – is due to sign an initial month-long deal at Southend, managed by South Shields-born Phil Brown.