Sunday 17 November 2019

Newcastle striker Cisse agrees to wear shirt sponsor after stand-off

Papiss Cisse of Newcastle
Papiss Cisse of Newcastle

Damian Spellman

Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse has agreed to wear the logo of sponsor Wonga on his shirt, it is believed.

The 28-year-old Muslim had refused to display the pay-day loan company's branding on his kit because earning interest is forbidden by Islamic Law.


However, after several weeks of delicate negotiations, the Senegal international and the club have now found a solution and the player, who missed the club's pre-season training camp in Portugal as a result of his stance, will return to the fold.


Newcastle are yet to confirm the development, but sources close to the player have revealed he is expected to resume training with his team-mates tomorrow.


Cisse's stance over the club's new sponsor was applauded by Muslim leaders in the city.


However, photographs published in a national newspaper earlier this week showing the frontman at Aspers Casino did little to strengthen his case with gambling also prohibited by his religion.


The news will come as a major boost to manager Alan Pardew, who was already looking to recruit two strikers this summer before the Cisse problem emerged.


It coincided with speculation that Russian clubs Anzhi Makhachkala and Rubin Kazan were ready to make lucrative offers in a bid to lure Cisse to eastern Europe.


Cisse arrived at St James' Park in a £9million switch from German side Freiburg in January last year and was an instant hit as he scored 13 goals in his first 14 appearances, many of them spectacular.


However, the going was a little tougher last season and he was only able to manage the same number for the entire campaign as the Magpies, who lost his strike-partner Demba Ba to Chelsea during the winter transfer window, found themselves fighting for Barclays Premier League survival.


The club has been linked for much of the summer with Aston Villa's out-of-favour England striker Darren Bent, and more recently with Lyon's Bafetimbi Gomis.


However to date, there has been no tangible progress with new director of football Joe Kinnear yet to make a breakthrough despite a series of bullish statements since his arrival.


Indeed, Pardew has lost Steve Harper, Danny Simpson and James Perch this summer, and midfielder Dan Gosling looked certain to follow them until his proposed move to promoted Crystal Palace fell through.


The manager has made little secret of his desire for Kinnear to complete at least one deal with the club having abandoned its lengthy pursuit of FC Twente defender Douglas on the 66-year-old Irishman's say-so, with the deal all but done before he was handed responsibility for all football-related matters last month.


Kinnear had to abandon a bid to bring his former Wimbledon striker Mick Harford to the club as his assistant earlier this week after the 54-year-old reluctantly turned down an approach.

PA Media

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