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Magpies close in on France striker Remy

NEWCASTLE United are in advanced talks to sign France international striker Loic Remy for £10million and hope to announce the deal at the start of the January window.

The move will also involve Remy's current club, Marseille, signing a Newcastle player, possibly one of their Frenchmen such as Gabriel Obertan, who could be surplus to requirements at St James' Park.

If, as expected, Remy is signed by Newcastle it will increase the speculation that Demba Ba could leave the Premier League club when the window opens on January 1. Ba is available for £7m, the value of the release clause in his contract.

Newcastle insist that they want Ba to stay and have been attempting to get the Senegalese striker, who has 11 league goals already this season, to agree a new contract removing the clause. There is, however, interest in Ba from Arsenal and Chelsea, although he is not their top target, and also, more recently, from QPR manager Harry Redknapp.

Ba said: "People know that Arsenal need strikers, they know that a release clause is inserted in my contract, so they make speculation. It's true that Arsenal is a very attractive club."

Indeed, Remy has long been linked to a move to England and there was some tentative interest in him from Chelsea and West Ham United.

However, it appears that Newcastle have decided to make a move for Remy, which will come as a huge relief to manager Alan Pardew, who desperately needs to strengthen a squad hit by injuries and the exertions of the Europa League.

Newcastle are 15th in the Premier League, just two points above the bottom three, and have been hit by injuries to their two most creative players - Hatem Ben Arfa and Yohane Cabaye.

Pardew is keen to strengthen next month and will hope that Remy is not the only signing Newcastle make.