Newcastle United latest: Sissoko backs World Cup stars as defender heads for exit

St James Park

All the latest news, views and transfer rumours from St. James' Park...

Newcastle's dismal second half of the season has been consigned to the history books, with some of the Magpies squad preparing for the World Cup. Midfielder Moussa Sissoko - who will be playing for France - has suggested that playing at the World Cup can only help Alan Pardew's side, whilst admitting that it's a dream to play at the World Cup.

"It can give everyone associated with Newcastle confidence because it shows we have a great squad here," said the former Toulouse midfielder. "Having players at the World Cup can only help in pushing this club forward."

"It would be another one of my dreams coming true," Sissoko said of playing at the World Cup. "My first was to become a professional footballer, the second was to play for my county and going to the World Cup is my third dream. I hope I am lucky enough to go there, to be selected and to play."

Meanwhile, Newcastle have one player who has already won a trophy for his international displays, as young England goalkeeper Freddie Woodman celebrated winning the Under-17 European Championship during Friday's international against Peru at Wembley - and the shot stopper was delighted to receive the acclaim.

"It is a dream as a kid to win something with England – especially in a penalty shoot-out," said Woodman. "It was great for me to save a penalty – but all four of the takers for us were top drawer, too. You can see how much it meant to everyone here – the response by the crowd was brilliant and it was great. Hopefully it will be the first of many magical moments for us."

Woodman may not be part of the Magpies first team next season as he continues his development in the youth setup, but one senior player who may also not be featuring in the Premier League is French defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa. The former Montpellier man has struggled to nail down a place in Pardew's first team, and reports suggest that Newcastle have now made plans to move the centre back on.

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch