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(UK time) 05:13:38

Premier League

17 December 2012

Sought-after French star a Newcastle target in January

Tenacious midfielder top of Pardew's shopping list as he bids to stave off relegation

Sought-after French star a Newcastle target in January

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Struggling Newcastle are targeting French international Moussa Sissoko in January as they bid to avoid the drop.

The Toon are 12/1 long-shots to be relegated at the end of the current campaign despite sitting in 14th in the Premier League table, just two points above the drop-zone.

They’re looking to acquire the Toulouse star to add more beef to a midfield that has been found wanting this season after their overachievements of the previous campaign and with the 23-year-old’s contract set to expire in the summer, a deal could well be reached in the upcoming transfer window.

Newcastle will be hoping their fine scouting team have unearthed another gem from Ligue 1 after sounding out top stars Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa from across the channel, as well as host of youngsters.

However, competition for Sissoko’s signature should be fierce and the Magpies can expect to have to hold off a series of the continent’s elite clubs if they want to bring him to Tyneside.

His name has often been linked with a move away from Toulouse but he has resisted all previous overtures, going on to amass a total of 168 appearances in France’s top flight, bagging 19 goals in the process.

It’s thought talks have already been conducted between the players’ representatives and Newcastle so they may have stole a march in the race to snap up the highly sought-after midfield man, though whether he could solve Newcastle’s current problems remains to be seen.

Central midfield is not an area in which they lack, especially when Cheick Tiote and the aforementioned Cabaye are both fit, who are arguably the first names on Alan Pardew’s team sheet.

As much of a coup as Sissoko’s signing would be, the Magpies would be perhaps better served pursuing a wide man to work in tandem with Ben Arfa, off one of their Senegalese front men as, due to Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba’s obvious inability to play together, a change of system is clearly required if they are to end their current plight.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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