Moussa Sissoko has revealed that close friend Bafetimbi Gomis is still desperate to come to Newcastle United – and he will be working on persuading the striker to come to St James’ Park again this week.
The Gomis chase has gone cold since United agreed a fee with Lyon more than a fortnight ago, with complications over agents’ fees and a disputed approach from Marseille muddying the water. Newcastle are understood to have taken a step back from the increasingly chaotic deal but have not ruled it out completely. And they will hope the intervention of Sissoko, who is friendly with Gomis, might kick-start a transfer that has been central to their thoughts all summer.
The United midfielder revealed definitively for the first time that Gomis is seeking a move to Newcastle, and encouraged him to make a “very good move”. He said: “Bafe Gomis is my friend. He says to me that he wants to come to Newcastle, but it is not easy with the President (of Lyon) or an agent, I don’t know.
“I don’t know if it’s finished yet or not. If he comes here, it is a very good move for him. I will keep the message the same to him – we would like him to come to Newcastle. Maybe I will talk to him this week again.” United’s transfer team will continue to work on delivering another striker ahead of the Manchester City match, which will come too early for new arrival Loï¿½c Rï¿½my, a week today.
Alan Pardew delivered a bleak verdict when asked if Newcastle were “confident” of signing anyone this week, suggesting that the sagas involving Luis Suarez, Gareth Bale and Wayne Rooney were combining to cause congestion in the transfer market.
He was set to talk to Joe Kinnear yesterday after Newcastle’s director of football travelled to Tyneside to take in the draw with Braga. “He is the football director here – of course I will be talking to him,” Pardew said.
“We have a week now where I am laying down plans for the start of the season and I need to know where we are on transfers.”
Pardew also raised eyebrows by describing Yohan Cabaye as one of the “best midfielders in the world”, a description that was drawn out of him amid continuing interest from Paris Saint-Germain.
Thus far there has been no firm offer for him and the expectation at United is that it will take a huge bid in excess of ï¿½20million to prise the midfielder from St James’ Park.
Newcastle delivered a mixed bag of a performance against Braga but for Sissoko, there is hope ahead of the new season.
“Newcastle are a very good team and now we have to show it. On Saturday I played very well – it was nice easy because Braga were a good team. They played in the Champions League last season and the Europa League this season. They played well and made it tough for us but we battled and we have to be pleased that we got the draw.
“The team is feeling good ahead of Manchester City. We have one of the toughest games you could have on the first game of the season, but if I play well and hard maybe we can win there.”
Meanwhile, Jonas Gutierrez faces a race against time to be fit for the season opener at the Etihad. United will assess his hamstring injury again today.