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Magpies braced for January approaches
NEWCASTLE UNITED manager Alan Pardew is set to face a January dilemma with several clubs ready to test his resolve over certain players when transfer window re-opens on January 1.
The Magpies are likely to face a fresh fight to keep coveted midfielder Yohan Cabaye on Tyneside with a number of clubs ready to make a move for the French international.
Cabaye was the subject of a summer bid, believed to be in the region of £12m, from Arsenal and it is understood Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is keen to make a renewed approach with his side pushing for their first Premier League title since 2004.
However, the north London club are not the only potential suitors as Cabaye’s former coach at Lille, Rudi Garcia, has expressed a desire to be reunited with the 27-year-old at current club Roma. Liverpool are also monitoring the situation.
Sources in Italy suggest Garcia will make a bid in January, but the Magpies’ stance hasn’t changed and they remain reluctant to let the influential midfielder leave unless their valuation - thought to be in the region of £18-20m - is met.
Cabaye missed the Magpies’ opening two games of the season in a bid to push through a move to the Emirates Stadium, and although he has since returned to the side, it remains to be seen whether he would ignore further advances in January.
Pardew could also face a dilemma over Papiss Cisse. The out-of-sorts striker has struggled to find form this season and having been dropped to the bench in recent weeks, Cisse could find his long-term place in the side in jeopardy.
A front line of Loic Remy, Yoan Gouffran and either Hatem Ben Arfa or Shola Ameobi has been Pardew’s preferred choice recently and although Cisse is struggling to find his goalscoring touch, clubs across Europe could move to test the Magpies’ resolve if the striker still isn’t back in the team by January.
In an ideal world, Newcastle don’t plan on selling a striker they paid £9m for almost two years ago and Pardew is adamant Cisse will recapture the form he showed in his first six months on Tyneside soon.
Another player that has struggled to nail down a regular starting berth is Sylvain Marveaux and sources in France suggest a number of Ligue 1 clubs are keeping an eye on the winger’s situation.
Marveaux, who is hoping to be back in contention soon after recovering from injury, has also found his first-team opportunities limited with the likes of Gabriel Obertan, Sammy Ameobi, Hatem Ben Arfa and Yoan Gouffran all vying for an attacking place.
The Magpies face Tottenham in a lunchtime kick-off at White Hart Lane on Sunday and Pardew will be hoping for more of the same after his side’s 2-0 win over Chelsea.
Stand-in captain Cheik Tiote is likely to be fit despite being withdrawn with a thigh problem early in the second half on Saturday.
The Ivory Coast midfielder has been in impressive form since being handed the captaincy and he could once again hold that responsibility should Fabricio Coloccini not return in time for this weekend’s game.
The defender has been out with a muscle injury he sustained while on international duty with Argentina a few weeks ago and Pardew revealed he would step up his training this week.
Newcastle United's home game against Manchester City in January has been moved so it can broadcast on live on TV.
The fixture was originally scheduled for Saturday, 11 January at 3pm, but will now be played on Sunday, 12 January at 2:05pm on Sky Sports at St James' Park.
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