Newcastle midfielder Moussa Sissoko in battle for fitness ahead of Manchester United game

The Frenchman was struck down with an injury in last weekend's Swansea clash.

Newcastle midfield powerhouse Moussa Sissoko is desperate to return to fitness, ahead of schedule, in time for the Magpies' trip to Old Trafford this Saturday, according to assistant manager Paul Simpson in the Chronicle.

The Frenchman came off injured as Newcastle succumbed to a 2-0 defeat to Swansea and staff initially feared the worst regarding its severity.

Subsequent scans revealed a grade one strain and club medics have instructed the 26-year old to rest for two weeks, until after the international break.

But Newcastle assistant manager Simpson revealed the former Toulouse man is eager to return to action much sooner than that.

“Moussa is determined to be involved at Old Trafford, he is determined to play, and made it clear to medical staff and to the coaching staff, if he has a chance then he wants to be involved,” he said, in quotes published by the Chronicle.

“He has done a little bit of light running – whether this weekend is a little bit too early, we will just have to wait and see.”

Newcastle will be wary of rushing one of their key men back too early, but his presence would be a huge boost as Steve McClaren prepares for one of the biggest tests he will face all season, against Louis van Gaal's Manchester United side.

The imposing midfielder has recently been linked by Gianluca Di Marzio with Italian giants AC Milan, but Newcastle will surely have no intention of entertaining any approaches, and will be counting down the days until his return to fitness.

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