Alan Pardew makes enquiry for Frenchman Massadio Haidara

NEWCASTLE United target Massadio Haïdara gave out encouraging signs last night that he would welcome a move to Tyneside, and revealed St James’ Park’s French community could play a major part in his decision.

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew

NEWCASTLE United target Massadio Haïdara gave out encouraging signs last night that he would welcome a move to Tyneside, and revealed St James’ Park’s French community could play a major part in his decision.

Alan Pardew has made an enquiry for the 20-year-old left-back from Nancy who, in an interview with French radio station RMC, revealed he knew of United’s interest and would consider furthering his career in England.

Newcastle are far from the only club circling the highly-rated French under-21 international, with Serie A giants Roma also reported to have made a bid of around £2million, plus several other Premier League sides.

Pardew (pictured right), however, swill be heartened by this particular player talking up his club.

Haidara told RMC: “Newcastle do 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.”

Asked during the interview about the French contingent at the club, Haidara said: “If I leave to go there where there are several French players, it would be easier for me to adapt.”

Over the past few days the French media have linked Haidara with Tottenham and Aston Villa, as well as Roma who, for the moment, appear to be Newcastle’s main rival for one of Ligue 1’s most promising young talents. The player himself said: “I have no specific choices, but I do have a preference for England.

“That is the championship that attracts me because of the style of play.

“But I am not close to any offer. Roma are a very good team. I won’t leave for any offer. It will need to be good for my club and me.”

Newcastle have missed out on another Frenchman when, as expected, QPR yesterday confirmed the signing of Loïc Rémy on a four-and-a-half year deal.

And Harry Redknapp, the QPR manager, confessed that he did not believe he would get the striker from Marseille for a fee that could end up in the region of £10m. Redknapp said: “I didn’t think we’d get him to be honest, but (chairman) Tony Fernandes worked ever so hard on this. He wouldn’t give up on it, and it’s great that we now have him here with us.

“He’s always been a player I’ve admired. I’ve watched him on so many occasions throughout the last few years. I actually spent three or four hours with him last year so he knew what I thought of him, and I think that was important.”

Rémy (pictured right) said: “Harry played a big part in me coming here. I spoke to him and Tony Fernandes at length and they made it clear they wanted me here. They gave me the right motivation to join QPR.

“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 – the best league in the world.

“I am confident I can adapt to the Premier League. My main characteristics have taken me to the level I am at today but I am keen to keep improving in the Premier League.”

Meanwhile, FA Cup hero Jay Bothroyd wants to prove to Redknapp he has a future at QPR despite Remy’s arrival.

The 30-year-old striker was loaned to Sheffield Wednesday by former boss Mark Hughes at the start of the season but returned to Loftus Road two weeks ago and marked his comeback with the only goal in Tuesday night’s 1-0 victory over West Brom in an FA Cup third-round replay.

“I am really happy. It was my first start after coming back and I was happy with my performance,” the former England international said.

“I was surprised to get a start but I have been working hard in training. My mentality has always been when I get an opportunity to do well.

“Everyone knows Harry is a very honest man and very fair. He hasn’t closed the door on anyone.”


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer