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Newcastle close to signing Papiss Demba Cisse ... Senegal’s other striker

NEWCASTLE manager Alan Pardew was on Tuesday closing in on a deal to sign Papiss Demba Cisse, a strike partner of Demba Ba with Senegal.

The Freiburg forward, who has scored nine Bundesliga goals this season, has flown to Tyneside from the Africa Cup of Nations to discuss terms after Newcastle agreed an undisclosed fee with his club.

Pardew had claimed that the club were unlikely to recruit a striker this month after ending their pursuit in Sochaux's Modibo Maig only for it to emerge in recent days that they had rekindled interest in Paris St Germain's Mevlut Erding.

However, they have turned to Cisse after Freiburg signed Cologne frontman Sebastian Freis. Tottenham and Sunderland have recently been linked with the 26 year-old, who is likely to play a significant role for Senegal when the tournament begins in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon on Saturday.

Cisse was rated at about £14million during the summer, but it is understood the fee is significantly less than that, allowing Pardew to continue his concurrent pursuit of a central defender now that Steven Taylor is sidelined for the rest of the season with an Achilles injury.

Cisse's arrival could help Newcastle to keep the in-form Ba, scorer of 15 goals in 19 appearances this season. He has been linked with a move away this month after it emerged that he has a release clause in the contract he signed last summer on joining from West Ham.

Newcastle climbed back into the top six with their 1-0 home win over QPR on Sunday. They head to Fulham at the weekend hoping to maintain their challenge for European qualification.