Siem de Jong winning fitness battle to be ready for Manchester City

Siem de Jong should be fit to make his Newcastle United debut but the Loic Remy deal seems dead as he looks set to to stay at QPR

Getty Images Siem de Jong of Newcastle United
Siem de Jong of Newcastle United

Siem de Jong should be fit to make his Newcastle United debut on Sunday – even if it is only as a substitute.

The Dutchman, one of the club’s marquee signings of the summer, is believed to have a chance of making the 16-man squad for the Premier League opening fixture against Manchester City.

But Cheick Tiote is struggling to face the champions with a calf injury and looks set to miss out. We understand that the team which began the warm-up match against Real Sociedad is likely to be the one which gets the league season under way.

This means that Steven Taylor will not be given the chance to make up for his red card in the opening game a year ago, when he was sent off in the first half against City in Manchester. Newcastle fans are desperate to see de Jong (pictured below), who hasn’t played since picking up an injury during the club’s stay in New Zealand.

And the news that he at least has a chance of making Sunday’s game would have given them a lift.

But remarks from QPR manager Harry Redknapp regarding Loic Remy seem to bring an end to any hope of the French striker returning to St James’ Park.

Redknapp insisted that his prize asset, who saw a move to Liverpool collapse because of a failed medical, would stay at Loftus Road unless a Champions League side came in for him.

Even then, he stated that Remy was a “£20million player.”

The QPR manager said: “Unless something comes up Champions League or something massive for him, he would like to stay here and play.

“And he’s shown that attitude every day on the training ground, I couldn’t have asked for more from him.

“He’s been great, he’s worked hard, he’s done his running, he’s got himself fit, he’s a proper professional and that’s all you can ask.

“There have been several clubs that have rung up about him, in the Premier League, but I don’t think that they would be clubs that he would particularly want to leave QPR for.

“We hope Loic will stay. He is a fantastic player and his attitude since he’s come back here has been first class.

“He’s trained great and we’re hoping he’s here at the start of the season. We don’t want to sell him.

“If you look at the prices of strikers at the moment, it’s incredible. To me he should be a £20m striker in comparison to other strikers who are getting sold for £11m or £12m. To have lost him for the amount we were going to would have been too cheap so to have him back here is fantastic.

“The chairman wants him to stay and we hope he does. He would have been a fantastic buy for Liverpool at that money, so their loss is our gain.”


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