Magpies slapped with FA charge after fracas
NEWCASTLE United will deny a Football Association charge of failing to control their players during Saturday's Premier League opener against Arsenal. The FA yesterday charged both Newcastle and Arsenal in the wake of the mass confrontation between the sides after a scuffle between Magpies midfielder Joey Barton and Gunners striker Gervinho. The Ivorian was shown a red card by referee Peter Walton having slapped Barton across the face after the midfielder had hauled him off the floor to accuse him of diving. Arsenal midfielder Alex Song has also been charged for his stamp on Barton earlier in the match. A statement read: Newcastle United and Arsenal have been charged by the FA with failing to control their players following Saturday's (13 August) fixture at St James' Park. Both clubs have been charged following a mass confrontation of players following an incident in which Arsenal's Gervinho was also shown a red card in the 75th minute. Newcastle reacted immediately by denying the charge, and will now wait to see if their appeal is successful. The FA have also revealed they are monitoring Barton's Twitter feed after a number of controversial posts from the 28-year-old in recent weeks. Meanwhile, it seems Newcastle's search for a striker could finally be over after Sochaux forward Modibo Maiga expressed his desire to join the Magpies. Reports in France suggest the Magpies have bid £7m for the Mali international, who revealed he has already met with club representatives to negotiate a five-year deal. He said: I met everyone at Newcastle. They want me and it is not just any club. Premier League is a dream. That is the kind of game I like, it suits me and it is good for my career. I want to leave, the club has to accept that and negotiate. I told the coach I would play and respect my contract, but the chairman has to talk about my transfer first. I don't want to annoy Sochaux, but I want it to be sorted out with Newcastle. Pardew is hoping to have a new striker available for Saturday's derby with Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, but the deal to sign Maiga could be held up with the French club apparently dragging their heels. The Magpies boss has endured a frustrating summer in his quest to replace the void left by Andy Carroll with a number of failed bids. Attempts to sign Gervinho, Kevin Gameiro, and Mevlut Erdinc amongst others have failed, but the Magpies hierarchy remain hopeful they can land their latest target. Maiga scored 15 times last season for Sochaux having joined from Le Mans last summer and has represented his country 16 times. Pardew is also hoping to tie up a deal for PSV Eindhoven left-back Erik Pieters before Saturday.
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