Newcastle to finalise Shefki Kuqi deal with free agent to plug the gap left by Andy Carroll

09 February 2011 10:59
Newcastle have moved to sign 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. And the Finland international travelled to Newcastle on Wednesday to agree terms ahead of a two hour medical.

Toon merchant: Kuqi

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.

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.

Up for grabs: Sylvain Marveaux (right)

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

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Source: Daily_Mail