- Premier League
Haidara and Sissoko join Newcastle
Newcastle United have completed the signing of Massadio Haidara from Nancy for an undisclosed fee, and are also on the verge of capturing Toulouse midfielder Moussa Sissoko.
Haidara is Newcastle's fourth new signing of the window, and he has penned a five-and-a-half-year deal. The France Under-21 international will wear the No. 19 shirt and may make his debut against Aston Villa on Tuesday. Sissoko is expected to join him by the end of the week after Toulouse announced that an agreement had been reached with the Magpies.
Speaking to the club's official website, Haidara 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."
Manager 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."
Sissoko, 22, was in the final year of his contract with Toulouse and had been linked with a host of clubs including Inter Milan, Juventus and Tottenham Hotspur. A fee believed to be in the region of €2.5 million has been agreed and the player is expected to sign a contract to run until 2018 on Friday. He has waived his signing on fee to make sure the transfer goes through.
Confirming the news via their official website, a Toulouse statement read: "Moussa Sissoko will not finish his contract with TFC. He's reached an agreement with Newcastle United Football Club for a definitive transfer which will take effect as of today. He will therefore play in England in the Premier League."
The France international played nearly 200 times for Toulouse but had been frozen out of the first team picture after threatening to sign a pre-contract agreement with the Magpies.
"Moussa has done everything to ensure that Toulouse recoup a transfer fee and he would leave this winter," Sissoko's representatives told RMC Radio earlier this week. "Newcastle were encouraged to make an offer. However, the shocking attitude of the club directors, who have pushed Moussa out of the group, has pushed us to sign a pre-contract with Newcastle."
Annoyed by Sissoko's refusal to extend his contract beyond its expiry next June, the Toulouse president, Olivier Sadran, had threatened Sissoko would be out of the squad until next summer. Consequently, Sissoko watched his team's 3-1 Coupe de France defeat at Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday evening from his living room sofa.
If the deal is completed, Sissoko will join Haidara, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Yoan Gouffran in swapping Ligue 1 for Alan Pardew's side this week.