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Coloccini talks on hold as Magpies target Haidara
10:15am Thursday 17th January 2013 in Sport
NEWCASTLE UNITED target Massadio Haidara has expressed a willingness to move to Tyneside this month but how long Fabricio Coloccini stays at St James’ Park remains unclear.
The Magpies, who yesterday postponed a meeting with unsettled captain Coloccini until early next week, are pursuing a number of transfer targets in the hope of boosting their ranks.
Ideally manager Alan Pardew, hoping to retain the services of his South American skipper, would have at least one more new signing in place before a decision is made on the future of his most senior and competent defender.
Newcastle are considering their options in the transfer market as they seek a potential replacement for Coloccini, while there is also a drive to strengthen other areas.
A £2.5m bid has been lodged for left-back Haidara and Nancy are understood to have indicated a willingness to accept the deal.
The 20-year-old, also attracting interest from Aston Villa and Roma, had hinted he would prefer to move to Serie A. Now, though, he appears to have had a change of mind and would be keen to join Newcastle’s French contingent.
Haidara said: “Newcastle appeal to me, but everyone has to agree. I would be very happy to play there. My preference is England. It is the league that attracts me the most and would suit my game the best. I have not heard from Newcastle. The club have not yet made contact. After they do that, Newcastle may interest me, but everyone has to agree on a deal.”
He added: “If I leave to go there (Newcastle) where there are several French players, it would be easier for me to adapt.”
Haidara is a French Under- 21 international of Senegalese descent. He turned professional two years ago this month and has represented France at youth levels.
Newcastle insist there has been no contact so far from AC Milan for Davide Santon, who Haidara would be competing for a place with.
Pardew suggested last week that Santon had been a ‘big player’ for him this season and wants to keep him.
And suggestions coming out of Italy claim Milan are also considering a double swoop involving Santon and goalkeeper Tim Krul, although Newcastle would be reluctant to lose both.
Having sold Demba Ba to Chelsea for £7.5, Pardew’s intentions were to strengthen rather than weaken his squad this month, and he has been working closely with managing director Derek Llambias.
A top priority remains replacing Ba, particularly after losing out to Queens Park Rangers in the last 48 hours in the race for Marseille striker Loic Remy.
He completed a £10m move to Loftus Road after agreeing a four-and-a-half year deal just days after he was due on Tyneside to complete a similar switch to St James’ Park.
It is believed the 26-yearold, who has four goals in 17 games for France, has been offered almost double the salary Newcastle put to him, and there’s a clause in his contract which will allow him to leave should QPR go down.
“Harry Redknapp played a big part in me coming here,”
said Remy. “I spoke to him and Tony Fernandes (owner) at length and they made it clear they wanted me here.
“I want to develop my game here. This season the objective is to stay up but beyond that we have greater objectives.
After seven years in France, this is the right time for me to pursue a new challenge in the Premier League.’’