Would Arsenal or Manchester City want Papiss Cisse now?

Arsenal V Newcastle

Newcastle United striker Papiss Cisse is at the centre of much debate at the club due to his religious beliefs conflicting with the club's sponsors.

Papiss Cisse yesterday pulled out of Newcastle's training camp in Portugal after a row concerning club sponsor Wonga was unresolved between player and club.

His personal Muslim beliefs do not correspond to 'promoting a money lending company', and the parties have so far not found a solution, with Wonga not agreeing to a request by Cisse to wearing an unbranded shirt.

What Newcastle should do now leaves a tough decision, with their joint top scorer in the Premier League last season (equal with Demba Ba), and mult-million shirt sponsors at odds.

Last summer it could have been far simpler.

Cisse was the Premier League's hot striker, smashing in the goals for fun, spectacularly so - amid a superb start to his career after signing from Freiburg.

It was the sort of form which had other Premier League sides linked with his signature.

Arsenal hero Ray Parlour told Talksport last July: "Let's go out and make a key signing like Papiss Cisse from Newcastle and suddenly people will forget about Robin van Persie."

While last May the Mail had reported that both Manchester City and Manchester United were lining up potential bids for the freescoring striker, which failed to materialise.

The expectation Newcastle would ask for a crazy price, and the fact the striker had just been in the league six months saw neither side act on any interest which could have been there.

This summer with Cisse's spot of bother with Newcastle, Mike Ashley could decide to try and sell the striker, but the fact is his stock has diminished it is hard to see any of the league's top clubs going in for him.

Cisse's season last year was disappointing by the high standard he set himself when he began, and while there has been loose interest reported in him from Russian side Anzhi Machachkala, the effect of that is for Newcastle to sell him would be an unsatisfactory solution.

It may be a practical one, but they would not recoup much profit on the £9 million they spent, and leave them in search of a new striker to lead the line.

Cisse still is an important threat for Newcastle on the pitch, their main man in attack, and one underwhelming season does not change the fact he is a very talented player.

It is just that the option of cashing in on him for mega-money does not appear to be on the table for Newcastle, and they may have to find a diplomatic solution to the problem.

Would your club want Cisse? How should Newcastle solve the situation?

image: © rich_w

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