Premier League

Haidara, Gouffran join Newcastle

Newcastle trio Massadio Haidara, Yoan Gouffran and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.
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Newcastle have confirmed the signing of left-back Massadio Haidara from Nancy for an undisclosed fee.

Haidara has signed a five-and-a-half-year contract at St James' Park.

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He said: "It was the desire of the club to sign me up which was the most important factor.

"It was nothing to do with the league position. It was really all about the club's desire and willingness to sign me up.

"Also, I like the club's ambition to strengthen the whole team so we can improve our league position. That's what appealed to me, so I didn't hesitate."

Toon boss Alan Pardew added: "Massadio is very highly thought of in France and he's somebody who our scouting team have been greatly impressed by.

"At the age of 20, he will only continue to get better but he's already played a lot of games in his country's top division and represented France at under-19, under-20 and under-21 level.

"He's strong and quick and we're looking forward to seeing him develop here."

Yoan Gouffran, meanwhile, has embarked upon his Newcastle career confident relegation is not on the agenda.

The 26-year-old striker signed a four-and-a-half-year deal at St James' Park after completing a move for an undisclosed fee, believed to be in the region of £1.4million, from Bordeaux.

He arrived with the Magpies sitting just two points clear of the bottom three and facing a big game at fellow strugglers Aston Villa on Tuesday evening.

However, Gouffran, who became Alan Pardew's third January signing after compatriots Mathieu Debuchy and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, is not at all concerned that that situation will persist.

He said: "I am not worried at all. I know the players who play here at Newcastle already. They are fantastic players.

"Newcastle isn't in the position it should be in the league. Whether it's myself or the other players in the team, we are going to try our utmost to make sure we can climb up the league to where we should be.

"I think with the players Newcastle have, we can realistically be aiming to finish at least in the top eight."

Gouffran's recruitment addressed one of the more pressing issues facing Pardew this month following the departure of leading scorer Demba Ba for Chelsea.

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Ba's goals have been seriously missed - the Magpies have scored only twice in the four games they have played since the Senegal international headed for Stamford Bridge - and with Papiss Cisse struggling for form, greater potency was a must as the manager drew up his wish-list.

 

Having seen QPR counterpart Harry Redknapp gazump him to land first-choice frontman Loic Remy, Pardew will be relieved to have finally got a forward in, and the newcomer is confident he can be a hit on Tyneside.

Asked what qualities he will bring to the club, Gouffran said: "Speed. I am fast and I score goals."

Ba's return of 29 goals in his 18 months at St James' will be a hard act to follow, but Frenchman Gouffran is far from daunted by the task of attempting to follow in his footsteps and form a partnership with Cisse.

He said: "There's not really any added pressure. Yes, I am an attacker; yes, I want to score goals. But we [he and Ba] both have different styles of play.

"I don't really think it's fair to draw any comparisons between both of us. Each player has his own style. Each to his own.

"Papiss Cisse and I played against each other when he was at Metz in France, and he is someone who has really made a lot of progress here at Newcastle and he has scored some great goals. I had a chat with him this morning for the first time. We get on really well. He's a great guy and I have no worries that we can definitely play together well."

Meanwhile, Moussa Sissoko is also set to join the club from Toulouse, according to his club.

The Magpies have been strongly linked with the 23-year-old midfielder, who is out of contract at the end of the season, and the player himself has spoken about his interest in a move to the north-east.

And the Toulouse website has now released a statement which read: "Moussa Sissoko has agreed with Newcastle United for a definitive transfer, that takes effect today.

"All the club wishes him continued success in his career."

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