A round-up of news and view relating to Newcastle United.
Newcastle United have reacted angrily to suggestions there is dressing room discord at St James’ Park, with journalists from the Telegraph banned after a report claiming there were divisions at the club, something partly due to the amount on French-speaking players in the squad.
Managing director Derek Llambias said the false rumours were distracting from Newcastle’s efforts to turn around their poor season, whilst Papiss Cisse and Cheick Tiote have come out insisting that the players are united and determined to secure a Premier League place for next season:
“Every player is together. We are totally focused on Saturday's game at West Ham and the two games after that. We have a strong bond and we want the best for our club, our manager and our wonderful fans,” said Cisse.
After the 6-0 loss to Liverpool last weekend, Newcastle are one place and five points above the relegation zone with three games left to play. Alan Pardew has said he is angry that the club, who finished so strongly last season, are in their current situation, and that he is channeling that rage into their relegation battle.
In transfer news, Newcastle have been linked with moves for Liverpool duo Andy Carroll and Jay Spearing, along with Wigan’s James McCarthy. McCarthy is reportedly rated at around £15million after a fine season for Wigan, whilst Hatem Ben Arfa could be used as part of a deal for Carroll and Spearing.
However Ben Arfa has also been linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur and PSG, with Spurs rumoured to be leading the chase for the winger after opening discussion with his representatives. Ben Arfa has had an injury hit season, making only 19 appearances for the Magpies so far.
Newcastle are set to go head to head with Napoli for Marseille defender Nicolas N’Koulou, with the 23 year old reportedly set to leave the French club this summer. N’Koulou has been linked to Arsenal and Liverpool in the past, and Newcastle might offer Steven Taylor as part of any deal for the defender.
On HITC this week we look at what changes Newcastle need to make this summer after their disastrous season, and ask if Rafa Benitez might be the man to take the club forward. We also report on Anthony Martial, a young striker linked with the Magpies who has been described as ‘the next Thierry Henry’.
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