Pardew battles for PSV left-back
NEWCASTLE boss Alan Pardew faces a race against time to sign a left-back before Saturday's Wear-Tyne derby against Sunderland, with PSV Eindhoven playing hardball over the sale of Erik Pieters. Pardew had hoped to complete the signing of top target Pieters before the weekend, but after the Dutch club slapped a £6m price tag on the left-back, it is believed the Magpies boss may look to other options before making a final decision. Lyon's Aly Cissokho is on the club's radar, but the French club have told the Tynesiders they will have to stump up more than £7m for the 23-year-old. The Magpies have lined up Manchester City's Wayne Bridge as a possible plan C, with the FA Cup holders keen to offload the 31-year-old deemed surplus to requirements by Roberto Mancini. Pieters has already expressed his desire to join the Magpies and Pardew believes he is still in pole position the land the 23-year-old's signature, but it seems there are a few things holding up the deal. The player returned home at the beginning of the week to attend his grandmother's funeral and he is now waiting to get the go ahead to fly to Tyneside. That, however, hinges on the club's agreeing a fee and with the Dutch club aware Pardew is keen to sign a replacement for Jose Enrique before Saturday, they will try to squeeze as much money out the Magpies as possible. Meanwhile, the Football Association has slapped Arsenal striker Gervinho with a three-match ban after his red card in Saturday's draw with Newcastle was upheld. The Ivorian was dismissed by referee Peter Walton for slapping Joey Barton after the Magpies midfielder has hauled him off the ground for diving. The Gunners appealed the red card on Monday, citing that the standard three-match ban was excessive, but after a hearing yesterday the FA ruled the punishment should stand. The FA also charged the clubs with failing to control their players after a mass confrontation broke out in the aftermath of the scuffle between Barton and Gervinho. Both are expected to hear whether those appeals were successful in the next 48 hours.
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