Laurent Robert is being linked with a surprise move to La Liga, with Espanyol reported to be keen to sign the French winger.

The Barcelona-based side struggled for much of the last season, and are keen to strengthen their squad in the hope of better things this year.

Robert told ‘Sport’, one of Barcelona’s sports dailies, that: “I know of the interest of Espanyol, but nobody has come to me about it.”

Any move by the Spanish side would be a year loan, due to the economic difficulties in purchasing the player – who has not expressed a wish to leave Tyneside.

A move would reunite the French winger with Espanyol director Cristobal Parraro, with whom he worked at Paris St Germain.

In spite of having 2 years left on his contract, Espanyol remain interested in the Frenchman who offered some encouragement, saying: “for every player, to make the move to La Liga represents a step forward. It is always good to try other championships and see other cultures.”

It remains to be seen whether Robert will be a part in Bobby Robson’s plans for the coming season.