North-East latest: City star remains on Newcastle wishlist; Sunderland miss out on striker

Middlesbrough FC Crest

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

1) Micah Richards remains on Newcastle wishlist

Micah Richards remains on Newcastle United’s wishlist this summer, as Alan Pardew strengthens his side.

The Manchester City defender has seen his first team chances at the Etihad limited in recent times – making fewer than 10 league appearances in the past two seasons – and it seems he is set to move on this summer.

It is thought that Richards could be available for around £7 million and, although so far no club have been willing to meet City’s asking price, it is thought that Newcastle could do in the near future.

2) Alan Pardew backs Moussa Sissoko

Alan Pardew has backed Newcastle United’s Moussa Sissoko to be a leader this season for the club.

The Frenchman had an inconsistent year in England last season, but Pardew believes that he can push on after having a good World Cup this summer.

“I think Moussa is a player who can grow,” he said. “I think he can improve in the Premier League and for France.

“He showed a few flashes in the World Cup and that was very pleasing for us. He’s a huge character as well as a very important player for us and I think we will see more of his character this year.

“He has a winning mentality and we are looking forward to a big season from him.”

3) Real Betis set for talks with Alfred N’Diaye

Sunderland midfielder, Alfred N’Diaye’s, move to Real Betis could still go ahead despite his reluctance to join the club after their initial bid.

The Black Cats and Betis agreed a £2 million fee for the Senegalese international earlier in the transfer window, but the deal fell through over a failure to agree personal terms.

It then seemed that any transfer between the two sides was off, but N’Diaye’s agent is meeting with Betis today to hold second talks to see if they can meet a compromise this time around.

Indeed, reports suggest that both parties are confident that an agreement could be made and that N’Diaye could complete a move to the La Liga outfit in the near future.

4) Sunderland frustrated in striker chase

Sunderland have missed out on another striker this summer after Eduardo Vargas opted to move to QPR ahead of them.

Gus Poyet’s side had tried to sign the Chilean international, but any hope they had of getting him seems to have evaporated with his deal to QPR set to go through in the near future.

It is one of a number of targets that Poyet has missed out on this summer, with Fabio Borini’s transfer saga still going on, and he is becoming frustrated by the lack of attacking additions made this summer so far.

5) Aitor Karanka hails Middlesbrough team

Aitor Karanka has hailed the spirit of his Middlesbrough side after they came from behind to beat Bolton last night.

‘Boro faced a tough test away at Bolton after losing to Leeds United on Saturday, but came through it with flying colours – continuing their impressive start to the season with a 2-1 win.

It was a result which pleased the boss and showed him the character which they have in their side.

"I'm very happy,” he said. “It was a difficult game, but we showed what kind of team we are and when we fight like that we can do good things," said Aitor.

"The spirit the team has on the pitch is excellent. We want to show everyone we have strong character."

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