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Diame wanted by Newcastle to soften blow of summer exits

| 21.05.2014

With Loic Remy among many rumoured to have played his last game for Newcastle Alan Pardew will already be looking for replacements and it can only be seen as significant that the Toon boss was spotted this week meeting in the early hours at London’s The Ritz.

Pardew has been under-fire for some time after seeing his side slip from European qualification candidates in the first half of the season to finishing in 10th having won only one of their last eight games of the campaign.

Along with a touchline ban and organised protests from fans groups, Pardew will know he can’t afford a slow start to the new term and is clearly desperate to make sure he has some new personnel in place if the predicted exodus materialises.

At the top of that list looks to be dissatisfied West Ham midfielder Mohamed Diame who could be brought into compensate for the anticipated departure of Cheick Tiote.

Along with Champions League-bound Liverpool, Newcastle have been said to be tracking the intentions of the 26-year-old for some time after being impressed with his performances despite coming amidst a struggling Hammers outfit.

Diame’s numbers could also help facilitate such a move with only a year left on the Senegal international’s contract and a £3.5m buy-out clause that’s within Mike Ashley’s range.

However, with Liverpool still in the hunt it may be difficult to tempt the French-born star away if his recent comments are anything to be judged by.

Diame said of the reported interest from Liverpool: “Liverpool? I can’t tell you if I will be a Liverpool player next season. But I think my name is still on their wanted list.

“I don’t hide it, I’m ambitious and I want to join a top-six side. I am 26-years-old and It’s time to take that step,” he added.

West Ham have said they want their man to stay but clearly feel they are being held to ransom after Diame demanded £80,000-a-week to remain at Upton Park.

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Sam Foster