A round-up of news and views relating to Newcastle United.
Newcastle United are prepared to sell Papiss Cisse as the row over the striker’s refusal to wear the club’s new Wonga-sponsored shirt escalated this week. Cisse pulled out of the Magpies’ pre-season tour of Portugal as he did want to wear the shirt due to religious beliefs.
The Senegalese striker is a Muslim, and is upset that Newcastle have taken such a hardline stance over the shirt, and is prepared to leave the club this summer. Anzhi Makhachkala and Borussia Dortmund have both been linked with the striker in recent weeks.
Alan Pardew has said that he will happily hand the captain’s armband to Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa next season if Fabriccio Coloccini is not in his starting eleven. Yanga-Mbiwa captained Newcastle in their recent 4-2 friendly win over Motherwell.
“He’s a leader,” said Pardew of the defender. “That hasn’t really come out so far because of the language barrier. But you can see in him why he has been a captain at other clubs.”
Pardew has also said that he is pleased with Newcastle’s preparation so far this pre-season, with the intensive fitness work the club has been doing paying dividends in the performance against Motherwell on Tuesday night.
Paul Dummett could be in line for a first team place next season, with the academy graduate impressing Pardew in pre-season. The left-back shone in the win over Motherwell, setting up one of Newcastle’s goals.
"Haris (Vuckic) was very good on his return but Paul Dummett was the pick of the bunch. It was an outstanding performance, as he has put in all year with St. Mirren,” said Pardew.
"He is now knocking on the door, seriously, and I don't say that lightly because the Premier League is a big jump. But he was fantastic and couldn't have done more.”
Newcastle are hoping to complete a deal for Aston Villa striker Darren Bent by the end of the week, and will also target Loic Remy this summer. A deal for Bent might be delayed as Villa also negotiate with Tottenham Hotspur over Christian Benteke, but the English striker is expected to leave Villa Park this summer after falling out of favour last season.
Newcastle are also considering a move for Portuguese defender Rolando, who is valued at around £5million by his club Porto. Everton have also been linked with the 27-year-old, who snubbed a move to QPR last season.
On HITC today we ask who will finish higher in the Premier League next season, Sunderland or Newcastle?
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