Last season Newcastle pulled off the undoubted coup of the January window by bringing in Papiss Cisse, who went on an astonishing scoring run to almost take his side into the Champions League places. This season Newcastle’s poor form sees them well off the pace in the race for Europe, and the club are reportedly planning to raid the French first division in an attempt to change their fortunes.
Pardew’s side have been noted for their considered approach to transfer windows in the past couple of years, and there are several factors to consider before they enter the market. Whether they qualify for the later stages of the Europa League will affect their decisions come January, but more important for the side is that they ensure they keep their own best players.
Newcastle are aware that, despite a poor start to the season, there are plenty of teams considering bids for their own star players. If the club were to lose one of Ben Arfa, Cabaye, Ba or Cisse then their plans would clearly need to be drastically reassessed. But assuming they can keep hold of the quartet, then there are two main targets they might look to sign from France.
Mathieu Debuchy has been on the radar for some time, and is the most high profile player Newcastle missed out on in the summer. The right back is still part of the club’s plans, and Newcastle’s pursuit of him might be aided by Lille’s poor start in both Ligue 1 and the Champions League.
Moussa Sissoko is another man that several clubs around Europe may be looking to sign. The 23 year old midfielder has been in impressive form for Toulouse, and could be brought in as someone who may free Yohan Cabaye up to operate in a more advanced role.
A slightly more unrealistic reported target is Loic Remy. The Marseille striker is also coveted by Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, and has said himself that he is unlikely to move in January. Newcastle could maybe look to sign Remy if they do end up losing Ba or Cisse, but whether Remy would favour move before the summer is a bigger question.
Newcastle’s recent record in the transfer market has drawn many admiring glances, and they will need another successful January window if they are to qualify for Europe again. As in the summer, the key moves made will be to keep hold of the stars they already have, but if they can pick up one or two of the Ligue 1 targets, they will have continued to improve an already impressive squad.
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