Newcastle close to Remy signing
Newcastle are closing in on the signing of striker Loic Remy from Marseille.
The 26-year-old French forward has been linked with a number of Barclays Premier League clubs, but Marseille president Vincent Labrune has indicated that the Magpies are at the head of the queue.
And Remy was left out of Marseille’s squad for their Ligue 1 clash with Sochaux last night, after being given the go-ahead to open talks over a move to St James’ Park.
Labrune told RMC Sport radio station in France: “We have an agreement in principle with Newcastle, it is true. We have therefore given Loic permission to chat with them. For the rest, we must wait patiently.”
Remy’s Marseille team-mate, Joey Barton, himself a former Newcastle player, appeared to indicate the deal was done when he tweeted: “Good luck to Loic in Newcastle. Don’t worry i’ve told him what to expect. Great guy. Perfect club for him.”
Newcastle offered no confirmation of the deal being finalised, however they will hope no obstacles appear to prevent it going through.
Marseille confirmed that the reason Remy was absent last night against Sochaux was down to the approach from the Magpies, saying on their official website that the “Marseille directors have authorised the striker to meet the management of Premier League club Newcastle”.
They added that sporting director Jose Anigo remained in negotiations over the prospective deal that would reportedly see Newcastle pay a fee of around £8m.
Remy has featured in 14 Ligue 1 games for Marseille this season, but has only started in two of them, and only has one league goal so far this term.
However, he netted 12 goals last season in the league, having hit 15 the season before, and would give Newcastle boss Alan Pardew a significant new option up front, something he feels is desperately needed after Demba Ba’s transfer to Chelsea.
“It is pretty obvious that we need another striker,” Pardew said after Saturday’s goalless draw at Norwich.
“We didn’t really have the chance to mix it up or an option so we had to stick to the game plan that we had at the start of the game.
“Norwich could bring on Grant Holt to change the game plan a bit but we don’t have that luxury. So we need to recruit in the next couple of weeks.”
Pardew admits Newcastle need players like Fabricio Coloccini if they are to escape relegation.
Magpies captain Coloccini put in an assured display to shut Norwich out at Carrow Road even though it emerged 24 hours earlier that he had asked to leave the club for personal reasons.
Coloccini will hold talks with the Newcastle hierarchy in the coming days as he attempts to finalise a move to Argentinian club San Lorenzo.
Given Newcastle’s precarious situation in the Barclays Premier League – they sit two points above the drop zone – Pardew is keen to hold on to his star defender and captain.
“He’s a class player,” Pardew said. “Great players can play through crises. It is players of his calibre and Tim Krul and (Yohan) Cabaye that are going to get us up the league, which we need to do.”