North-East latest: Ben-Arfa to hold rival meet-and-greet; Sunderland want Championship duo

Sunderland Inc Wickham

We bring you the latest news from Newcastle, Sunderland and Middlesbrough.

1) Alan Pardew wants more addition

Alan Pardew is still hoping to bring in a striker before the new season starts, with Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette and Queens Park Rangers’ Loic Remy, at the top of his wishlist.

The Newcastle boss has been relatively busy this summer, but still feels a little short of options up-front and would like one more addition to his team before the season starts.

Lacazette has confirmed that he sees his immediate future at Lyon, making his move to Tyneside seem unlikley, but there is still hope that a deal for Remy could be done.

2) Ben Arfa to hold meet-and-greet

Hatem Ben Arfa looks set to take on the club over their treatment of him this summer.

Newcastle are understood to be desperate to offload Ben Arfa, who Alan Pardew doesn’t see in his plans, but a lack of interest has blocked any move.

The mercurial winger has been forced to train with the reserves and will not train at the open-day arranged by Newcastle to allow the fans a chance to watch their players in action.

As a result, Ben Arfa has agreed to hold his own meet-and-greet, on the same day, in a local bookstore in Newcastle and will discuss his future with fans of the club there.

3) Connor Wickham subject of West Ham bid

West Ham United have made an offer for Sunderland’s Connor Wickham.

The striker has only one year left on his contract and, despite being offered a new deal, is yet to commit his future to the Black Cats, alerting a host of Premier League sides.

The likes of Leicester City and Newcastle United have been linked with the powerful centre-forward, but the Hammers are the first to lodge a formal bid for him, meaning they have jumped to the front of the queue.

It remains to be seen whether Sunderland will accept the bid, but the striker’s contract situation puts them under some pressure – otherwise they could lose him on a free next year.

4) Sunderland want Championship duo

Sunderland are hoping to do a deal with Leeds United for Sam Byram and Brighton and Hove Albion for Will Buckley.

The Black Cats submitted a £2.5 million bid for Buckley last night as Gus Poyet is a big fan having worked with on the south-coast and they are hoping to complete a double-swoop by bringing in Byram, too.

Although no bid has been made as yet to the Whites, one is expected in the future and Byram has reportedly told Leeds that he wants a move to the Premier League, giving them further hope of landing the talented right-back.

5) Aitor Karanka delighted with Kike display

Middlesbrough boss, Aitor Karanka, says he is delighted with the impact that Spanish forward, Kike, has made after the new-boy netted on his debut.

Kike played a key role in the side’s 2-0 win over Birmingham, scoring ‘Boro’s second of the match and Karanka believes that it is just the start for £2.7 million summer signing.

"Kike had offers to go to Spanish teams as well but he decided to come here," he said.

"I worked hard to convince him to come and we got him.

“This is an amazing club, an amazing crowd and this club has everything to be in the Premier League.

"For him this is the best way for him to go on and play in the Premier League, and it’s easy to convince people to come here.”

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