Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 31 August 2014

Newcastle rule out striker move

Alan Pardew

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has revealed the club will not attempt to sign a striker in January after confirming the collapse of Modibo Maiga's proposed move to Tyneside.

The Sochaux frontman was expected to complete a £6million transfer but the deal broke down before Christmas after a medical revealed uncertainty over one of his knees.

However, Pardew, who will lose 14-goal Demba Ba to African Nations Cup duty in the coming weeks, has admitted the club will do their homework and target a new forward during the summer rather than acting in haste during the winter window.

Pardew said: "I don't think we will be bringing a striker in in this window after the collapse of Maiga, which we had put a lot of work into. As far as we are concerned, we will go with what we have got."

Maiga had been in the Magpies' sights since last summer, and the collapse of that move was a huge disappointment for all concerned. Asked if there was any chance it could be resurrected at a lower price, Pardew said: "It was not a strategy to do that from us, it was just unfortunate, and unfortunate for the player.

"You can imagine the player is probably more disappointed than anybody else, but these things happen and we will have to do a lot of work now between now and the summer to locate another striker."

Newcastle will now try to bring in a defender after Steven Taylor's season was ended by injury. Pardew said: "You have to pay over the odds in this window, everybody does, and you have to accept that if you are going to invest in this window, and we won't in terms of a striker. We are looking at bringing maybe a defender in. We need to bring in a defender."

However, in-demand Magpies midfielder Cheick Tiote has insisted he is happy on Tyneside amid speculation his club might have a big decision to make next month.

The 25-year-old Ivory Coast international has been linked with Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham in recent weeks, but Tiote told the Evening Chronicle: "People can say whatever they want to say about me, but I'm a professional footballer and I play for Newcastle.

"I'm not thinking of leaving in January - I'm very happy playing for this club. That's my job and I need to work hard for the team and the club. I have to focus on my job for Newcastle - that's what I have to do."

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