Newcastle United are braced for a bid for Papiss Demba Cissé this month as Swansea City have put the Senegal international on a list of potential replacements for Wilfried Bony.
Bony is set to complete a £30million move to Manchester City this week and Swansea believe they can get Cissé to fill the gap in the squad as Newcastle do not have a permanent manager to argue the case for keeping him.
Cissé, who is on international duty with Senegal at the African Cup of Nations, has admitted his agent is aware of the Welsh club’s interest and with just 18 months on his contract, Newcastle could be tempted to cash in on a player who will be 30 next year.
Cissé cost around £9million when he arrived from Freiburg three years ago, but Newcastle would probably sell for around £7million given the length of time on his contract and their reluctance to offer him another one.
Cissé is Newcastle’s top goalscorer this season with nine goals in 13 appearances. He scored twice against Swansea at the Liberty Stadium back in October to secure a draw that did much to keep former manager Alan Pardew in a job.
However, Cissé rarely started games under Pardew, who did not believe he was fit enough to play a full 90 minutes following a surgery over the summer.
Newcastle are still looking for a new head coach to replace Pardew, despite speaking to former Lyon coach Rémi Garde over the weekend, and there is a growing feeling on Tyneside that assistant manager John Carver will be given the job until the end of the season.
That is helping to fuel rumours that owner Mike Ashley could sell the club in order to complete a takeover of Rangers in the summer, although it may also simply be down to the fact that Newcastle’s managing director, Lee Charnley, knows there will be more candidates available at the end of the season, including Derby County manager Steve McClaren and Ajax’s Frank De Boer.
Newcastle supporters will not be happy about the prospect of selling Cissé to a Premier League rival, particularly as they also fear losing their best player, Moussa Sissoko, this month.
The France international effectively issued a 'come and get me' plea to Arsenal over the weekend and has admitted he wants to leave Newcastle to join a “bigger club”.
Newcastle value the 25-year-old at around £20million and although Arsenal are unlikely to offer that much, they could offer less and hope that the player’s desire to join them does the rest.
The loss of both players would be a big risk to take for Newcastle, but Ashley may well decide it is one worth taking if it means he can recoup some of money he has given to Newcastle in the form of interest-free loans since 2007.
Significantly, this would enable him to lower his asking price to sell up, although Newcastle issued a statement back in September insisting that he will not sell “for any price” until 2016. The club’s media department insist that this is still the case.