Newcastle United hold 'positive talks' over St James' Park competition - £15m striker could return

St James' Park, the home of Newcastle United. (Photo by Wolverhampton Wanderers FC/Wolves via Getty Images)St James' Park, the home of Newcastle United. (Photo by Wolverhampton Wanderers FC/Wolves via Getty Images)
St James' Park, the home of Newcastle United. (Photo by Wolverhampton Wanderers FC/Wolves via Getty Images)
Newcastle United's St James' Park could host a star-studded this summer.

St James' Park is reportedly the frontrunner to host the inaugural Over 35s World Cup - featuring some of the game’s biggest names - in June this year.

Organised by the Elite Player Group (EPG), the tournament will include teams from the eight former winners of the World Cup - England, Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Uruguay. Players must be aged 35 or over and have been capped by their country or made 100 top-flight appearances.

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A number of Premier League clubs have been spoken to about hosting the competition but according to the Daily Mail, St James' Park has emerged as the preferred destination after holding positive talks with Newcastle United and the local council.

St James' Park, the home of Newcastle United. (Photo by Wolverhampton Wanderers FC/Wolves via Getty Images)St James' Park, the home of Newcastle United. (Photo by Wolverhampton Wanderers FC/Wolves via Getty Images)
St James' Park, the home of Newcastle United. (Photo by Wolverhampton Wanderers FC/Wolves via Getty Images)

EPG president Matias Sarasola told Mail Sport: "We think this will be a milestone in football history. Never before has one event joined 144 of these kind of former players at the same tournament. It is like the trophy of trophies.

"England created this sport and we wanted to launch the new category here, too. We would like to have full stadiums, so we will try and do the minimum ticket price possible. We would like to give the opportunity for all the city to go there. We want to make it as inclusive as possible."

Matches will be 11-a-side but over 70 minutes and will use rolling substitutes. The proposed schedule sees the quarter-finals and semi-finals held over three dates in the first week of June, with the final to be played on June 11 or June 12.

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It's understood England will be captained by former Liverpool and Real Madrid midfielder Steve McManaman and includes the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and unpopular former Newcastle striker Michael Owen.

Meanwhile, the event could tempt other big names such as Roberto Carlos, Cafu, Kaka, Ronaldinho, Rivaldo, Marcel Desailly, Thierry Henry, Hernan Crespo, Carles Puyol, David Villa, Mesut Ozil, Fabio Cannavaro, Francesco Totti and Diego Forlan.

St James' Park is already playing host to international football at the beginning of June when Gareth Southgate's England take on Bosnia & Herzegovina as part of their preparations for Euro 2024.

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