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Obertan seeking St James' Park exit strategy
NEWCASTLE UNITED outcast Gabriel Obertan will look to leave the club in January unless his prospects improve in the next two-and-a-half months.
Obertan, who moved to Tyneside in a £3m move from Manchester United in 2011, has barely featured in Alan Pardew's first team this season.
His only senior involvement came as a second-half substitute in last month's Capital One Cup win over Leeds United, and he has not even made the substitutes' bench for Newcastle's Premier League matches.
With little sign of an imminent promotion, the Frenchman is growing increasingly concerned at his lack of senior football.
Nottingham Forest inquired about a possible loan move in the summer, and there is every chance that Obertan will look to leave St James' Park on a permanent basis at the turn of the year. Given his diminished status in the eyes of his manager, there is very little chance of anyone attempting to stand in his way.
“Everything is possible,” said the winger, who suffered a disrupted pre-season programme because of a hamstring injury. “I will see what's going on until December, and I'll see what's best for me and the club. I obviously can't keep being on the bench and not being involved.
“It's a test mentally. You must keep focusing on an opportunity to play because you never know when it will come, and I'll be ready for it.”
While Obertan was the last player to join Newcastle from Manchester United, Wilfried Zaha could be following in his footsteps in January after the Magpies requested to be kept informed about the winger's position.
Zaha has been unable to force his way into David Moyes' first team since leaving Crystal Palace in the summer, and the new Manchester United boss is considering releasing the England international for the second half of the campaign.
Zaha's former club, Palace, are desperate to bring him back to Selhurst Park, but Newcastle are understood to be one of a number of Premier League sides to have expressed an interest in recruiting the 20-year-old.
Magpies owner Mike Ashley had previously been reluctant to spend money on loan moves, but his willingness to commit £2m to securing Loic Remy for a season suggests his stance has changed.
Meanwhile, it was a mixed weekend for two Newcastle team-mates as Chiek Tiote's Ivory Coast beat Papiss Cisse's Senegal 3-1 in the first leg of their World Cup play-off in Abidjan.
With Tiote playing at the base of midfield, Ivory Coast cruised into a three-goal lead inside the opening half hour courtesy of strikes from Didier Drogba, Gervinho and Salomon Kalou.
However, Cisse's late strike reduced the arrears and gave Senegal something to cling to ahead of the decisive second leg, which will be played at a neutral ground in Morocco next month.
After picking up a predictable booking towards the end of Saturday's first leg, Tiote will be suspended for the return encounter.
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