Newcastle launch new pursuit of Erdinc

26 July 2011 08:30
NEWCASTLE have launched a renewed pursuit of long-term target Mevlut Erdinc after Paris St Germain swelled their attacking ranks further yesterday.

Having already beaten Newcastle to the capture of Kevin Gameiro earlier this summer, PSG have continued their summer spending spree with the acquisition of former Roma forward Jeremy Menez.

The France international is an attacking midfielder who is expected to play on the right of a front three, and his move to the Parc des Princes pushes Erdinc further down the PSG pecking order.

Magpies officials, who have decided not to formally discipline Jose Enrique following his Twitter outburst on Sunday night, have already agreed a £6.5m fee for Erdinc.

However, the Turkish striker has shown little desire to move to Tyneside, preferring instead to fight for his place in Paris.

Yesterday's developments could change things, although another French club, Lille, have also expressed an interest in the 24-year-old.

Nevertheless, Magpies manager Alan Pardew remains desperate to bolster his attacking options before the start of the season, and is hoping another approach to Erdinc's representatives will produce a much-needed breakthrough.

We're waiting on a couple of decisions and that will determine where we go next and what we do, said Pardew yesterday. We're waiting for those to come in.

Newcastle have been pursuing Erdinc for the majority of the summer, and their refusal to give up on the striker reflects both their confidence in his abilities and the lack of viable alternatives within their price range.

At the moment, the Magpies' attacking options comprise new signing Demba Ba, Shola Ameobi and Peter Lovenkrands, as well as Nile Ranger and Leon Best, both of whom have been told they can leave St James' Park if an acceptable offer is forthcoming.

Pardew could do with some good news on the transfer front as the club's ongoing tour of the United States has been anything but an unqualified success.

The problems started before Newcastle's players even left England, with Joey Barton, Yohan Cabaye and Ranger all refused visas to travel to America.

Things got worse when Hatem Ben Arfa suffered an ankle injury in the first game, forcing his return to France and almost certainly ruling him out of the opening match of the Premier League season.

Despite Pardew's claims that the facilities in the US would be fantastic, this weekend's game in Orlando was controversially switched to a plastic pitch, a move that forced the United boss to rest a number of his players.

A schedule that includes ten flights in ten days is bound to have placed further strains on the players' morale, and things appeared to come to a head on Sunday evening when Enrique used Twitter to express his own frustration at the club's rulers.

The Spaniard claimed: The club is letting all the important players of the team go. Given the strength of his statements, at least one more departure now looks inevitable, although Liverpool's long-standing interest is yet to be translated into a formal bid, and sources on Merseyside last night claimed the Reds were harbouring serious reservations about Enrique's £8m price tag.

Newcastle, meanwhile, play the final game of their US tour in the early hours of tomorrow morning when they take on MLS side Columbus Crew.

Source: Northern_Echo