Newcastle sign Shefki Kuqi

10 February 2011 04:46
Newcastle have signed free agent Shefki Kuqias a short term replacement for Andy Carroll - the striker they sold toLiverpool for ?35million.

As exclusively revealed in Sportsmail, 34-year-old Kuqihad been identified by manager Alan Pardew as a player who could bolster hisdepleted forward line.

Pardew said: 'We needed another option up-front,because we're a little light there due to the temporary loss of Shola, and Shefki will provide us with something different.

'He's match fit and knows the English game well having been in the country for the best part of ten years. He is ready straight away and that's what we wanted.

'Shefki is a good, honest pro who will give us astrong physical presence from the bench.'

Man about Toon: Shefki Kuqi has completed his move to Newcastle

Kuqi, who will wear the No 42 shirt, told Sky Sports News: 'I don't really have the words to describe how happy I am. To get this chance is a massive thing for me.

'I am just happy to be here now and I can't wait to start and hopefully try to do the best I can for Newcastle United.

'For me, it is a great opportunity just to be back in the Premier League again. It is something I have tasted before.

'Everybody knows it is the best league in the world and to be part of it and a club the size of Newcastle United, I am really proud. It's an honour to be here.'

Heads up: Kuqi is put through his paces at Newcastle's training ground

Pardew has been forced to scour the free agent marketafter running out of time on transfer deadline day to bring in a replacementfor crowd favourite Carroll.

His need to reinforce was compounded further byShola Ameobi suffering a fractured cheekbone and being ruled out until April.

Former Middlesbrough striker Jeremie Aliadiere andBrazilian Ewerthon, formerly of Palmeiras, have also held talks but Kuqi's 6ft2ins frame and ability in the air suit Pardew's immediate needs.

Kuqi cancelled his contract with Swansea by mutualconsent and, despite offers from Championship clubs, was desperate for thechance to play for Newcastle and return to the top flight.

Up for grabs: Sylvain Marveaux (right)

Ewerthon, 29, has rejected Newcastle's opening offer of acontract but has not ruled out a return to negotiations. His Britishrepresentative Barry McIntosh said: 'There has been an offer from Newcastle.However, the player is still considering his options.'

Meanwhile, Newcastle target Sylvain Marveaux of Renneshas undergone groin surgery and is expected to miss the rest of the season. The24-year-old is expected to join Newcastle on a free transfer in the summer butis awaiting an approach from Liverpool also.

Rennes general manager Pierre Dreossi  said: 'We will never see Sylvain Marveaux inthe jersey of Rennes again.'

 Newcastle boss Pardew eyes surprise swoop for journeyman Kuqi 'I felt sick': Newcastle fans tell of heartache at memorable comeback against Arsenal. because they left at half-timeAll the latest Newcastle news, features and opinion

 Explore more:People: Andy Carroll Places: Newcastle, Liverpool

Source: Daily_Mail