It's widely recognised that Newcastle United will need a top goal-scorer if they are to improve on last seasons 16th place finish in the Premier League and fulfil European aspirations. With Papiss Cisse, only scoring 13 last season, the club are in desperate need for another forward with whom Papiss can thrive.
But who will be the man to partner Cisse for the Magpies next season?
This is what Pardew had to say regarding the issue, this morning:
“We have a list of four or five strikers who will push (Papiss) Cisse, Shola (Ameobi), Adam Campbell and Yoann Gouffran because that will be important next season. We do need two strikers.”
“Last season I didn’t think there was enough competition in that area for a Premier League team”
Thus far, a multitude of players have been linked with a move to St James’ Park, but there are three names that have been repeated over and over again. And those three are Darren Bent, Andre-Pierre Gignac and Loïc Rémy.
Darren Bent has fallen down the pecking order at Aston Villa in recent years, following the recent good form of Christian Benteke, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Andreas Weimann. The England international is keen for a move to reignite his career. The 29 year old could, however, stay depending on Christian Benteke’s situation. The Belgian marksman issued a transfer request yesterday evening, so Bent may indeed still have a role to play at the Midlands club.
Aston Villa will still be looking to get a decent price for the forward, with the striker having been labelled as a £6 million asset.
Gignac is another who has lost his starting place in Marseille’s attacking unit and is likely to move.
Newcastle have reportedly bid £12 million for the Frenchman and the pre-existing French legion on Tyneside could tempt Gignac to St James’s Park. The Frenchman’s pace could link perfectly with Cisse’s height and ariel prowess.
However the 27-year-old striker is stalling on a possible move amid rumours that a bigger club might come in for him, Sports Direct News reports. Although Gignac hasn’t ruled out to move to St James’s Park he is waiting to see if a bigger club make a move for him feeling that he would like to be at a club with more chance of winning trophies. This stance has made Newcastle question whether they actually want to sign the striker and the club are now looking at alternatives to bring in if Gignac continues to stall.
Another Frenchman, Loïc Remy, was thought to have been signed by Newcastle in January only for the Marseille forward to opt for a more lucrative deal at QPR. However his goals could not prevent QPR from slipping back into the Championship and he’s available once again.
Sources on Tyneside had indicated that there was little appetite to reconsider the France international after his snub, however there appears to be change of stance amid speculation that Harry Redknapp has asked for central defender Steven Taylor in a player plus cash deal for Remy who cost the London club a record £8million.
Another name that has been, in my opinion, carelessly chucked about in recent days is Bent’s partner at Villa, Christian Benteke.
The big Belgian is in high demand following a scintillating breakthrough season at Aston Villa, scoring 19 goals as Villa avoided relegation. Interest has come from Europe’s biggest clubs including Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea and Liverpool.
The 22 year old handed in a transfer request on Monday but Villa boss, Paul Lambert, says he will do everything in his power to keep Benteke at Villa Park. The Scottish boss has slapped a £20 million price tag on his star forward in an attempt to scare off clubs. Newcastle will have to win big on Castle Jackpot to secure his signing!
Whatever happens in the unpredictable world of football, Newcastle are bound to sign somebody to fill the void left by January sale, Demba Ba.
Who you like that space to be filled by? Should the club pursue a young, big-money signing or perhaps a more experienced squad player to offer Cisse back-up
By Tomos Ings