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CHN Links: Thursday Edition

Good morning, Toon Army. I'm rooting for England and USA today, but I'm predicting the 2018 World Cup will be in Spain and Portugal while 2022 will be in Qatar.

Steven Taylor sits on a brick wall - because he's a defender and he's a brick wall! Get it? Those photographers are so witty.
Photo credit unknown

More news about Steven Taylor today: According to Simon Bird of MirrorFootball, Taylor will meet with Toon brass on Friday to try and sort out his contract. Of course, Liverpool and Everton (and possibly others) are waiting in the wings if things don't go swimmingly. Lee Ryder says that Steven Taylor has a tough decision to make.

LA Galaxy and USMNT star striker Landon Donovan, who was recently linked to Newcastle, says he would be open to another loan to Everton. (CaughtOffside) The MLS has said that they will be very strict in not allowing LA to sell Donovan's contract, but since the league has an odd schedule it worked out last year for Donovan to be loaned out in January. I would have loved to see this guy in black and white stripes (he would be a great fit on the right wing), but given his history with the Toffees it's tough to see him going anywhere but there.

In a departure from an interview he gave earlier this season (which of course I can't find now), Chris Hughton said Wednesday that he is not setting a target point number for his lads to reach in order to survive. (Luke Edwards, The Journal) Ed Harrison of takes that bit of news and comes up with the number 43. For what it's worth, the Toon are on pace for 48 points, but here's my target number: 3 points on Sunday.

Chris Hughton wants to add depth to his backfield, and he's reportedly looking at Middlesborough's David Wheater in order to accomplish that goal. (Paul Fraser, The Northern Echo) One has to wonder if this rumor was floated in public to send a message to Steven Taylor that he can be replaced.

Chris Hughton has his eye on young midfielder Ryan Donaldson and will be open to loaning him out this January. (Lee Ryder, The Chronicle)

Former Newcastle skipper Nicky Butt made his debut for South China FC and scored a goal. (CaughtOffside, VIDEO)