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Sissoko expresses interest in joining Newcastle
WITH Alan Pardew beginning to firm up his plans for the January transfer window, Toulouse midfielder Moussa Sissoko has welcomed recent speculation linking him with a move to Newcastle United.
Pardew is compiling a list of potential January signings, and for the second transfer window in a row, strengthening the Magpies defence will be a priority.
August's transfer deadline passed with Newcastle having failed to complete a move for their two leading targets, Lille full-back Mathieu Debuchy and FC Twente centre-half Douglas.
Magpies officials are expected to make a renewed approach for both players when the transfer window reopens at the start of January, although they will not be increasing the valuations that proved too low in the summer.
Midfield is another area that could potentially see reinforcements, particularly if continued speculation over Cheik Tiote's future refuses to go away, and Sissoko is understood to be of particular interest to Pardew and the rest of his recruitment team.
The France international is due to become a free agent next summer, and Newcastle are hopeful of landing him for a cut-price fee in the final six months of his contract or persuading him to sign a pre-contract agreement ahead of a summer switch.
Newcastle scouts have watched Sissoko on a number of occasions, and sources in France claim Toulouse are resigned to losing the 23-year-old at the turn of the year.
Sissoko is aware of recent French reports linking him with a move to Tyneside, and is keen to test himself in English football.
“To play in the Premier League would be a dream come true,” said Sissoko. “It is a fantastic league and I enjoy watching it. Newcastle are a fantastic team and would be attractive to any player. I am no different.”
The January transfer window will also prove make or break in terms of Danny Simpson's future at St James' Park.
The full-back is currently in the final year of his contract, with talks over a new deal having broken down in acrimonious circumstances in the summer.
The former Manchester United youngster, who is established as Newcastle's number one right-back, is keen to remain at St James' Park, but is understood to have rebuffed an offer of around £25,000-a-week.
There will be no further talks before the end of the year, but Magpies managing director Derek Llambias will resolve the situation one way or the other during the January window.
Either Simpson will be persuaded to sign a new deal or efforts will be made to move him on for a fee before he becomes eligible to leave as a free agent next summer.
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