Carver makes defiant statement about reportedly in-demand Newcastle star

Newcastle United interim manager John Carver says that Moussa Sissoko has not been distracted by talk of a move to Arsenal.

Newcastle United interim manager John Carver has told the Shields Gazette that Moussa Sissoko has not reduced his efforts after being linked with Arsenal. 

The French midfielder has been tipped by sources such as the Daily Mail to be a target of the Gunners, but Carver insists that any off the field talk is not distracting him. 

“He is focused and he has got his mind on the job," Carver said to the Shields Gazette. "He has been absolutely first class.

“It annoys me when you see a player who has been tapped up by somebody else, and he doesn’t train properly or perform properly. That’s what annoys me, and he is certainly not doing that.

“I have experienced that, I am not going to mention players, but I have seen with an awful lot of players that once they have been tapped up to go somewhere, they down tools, and it is so obvious.”

Despite Carver's praise of Sissoko's attitude there are still concerns around St. James' Park over his future. 

Newcastle have made a habit of cashing in on their better players in recent times and Sissoko has not ruled out an exit himself in quotes in the Shields Gazette, even if his manager believes it won't happen. 

If the Frenchman does leave it would be a major blow to Newcastle's hopes for the season. He has unquestionably been their finest performer throughout the campaign to date and he will be vital to any success they have between now and May. 

Magpies supporters are already frustrated with the club's lack of ambition and if they do decide to cash in on Sissoko it is set to turn the atmosphere around St. James' Park even more sour. 

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch