Monday 28 January 2013

Moussa Sissoko and Massadio Haidara joins Newcastle's French ranks

Toulouse midfielder is club's fifth Ligue 1 signing of window and signs deal until June 2019

  • Moussa Sissoko had been at Toulouse since the age of 13

  • Massadio Haidara, left, with Newcastle's two earlier French signings this week

  • Haidara, left, made more than 50 appearances for Nancy in France

Newcastle United have signed Toulouse midfielder Moussa Sissoko from Toulouse for an undisclosed fee.

The 23-year-old moves to St James’ Park on a six-and-a-half year deal and is the fifth recruit from France made by Newcastle this January transfer window, after Massadio Haidara, Mathieu Debuchy, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Yoan Gouffran.

"I have heard lots about how fantastic the Newcastle fans are"
Moussa Sissoko

Sissoko had been at Toulouse from the age of 13, making his debut in August 2007 and playing 218 times. He has won six caps for France and will wear the No 7 shirt at Newcastle.

"I am delighted to be a Newcastle United player,” Sissoko told the club’s website. "This is a massive club playing in the best league in the world, and my style of play is suited to the Premier League.

"It was really important to move on, to take on a new challenge. I've been with Toulouse for 10 years so, even though I gave 100% in training and during matches, it was quite a comfortable place for me.

"I was in my comfort zone and I wanted to take on a new challenge and rise to that challenge. And Newcastle is the ideal club for me to be able to go on and do great things. I have heard lots about how fantastic the Newcastle supporters are and cannot wait to get started.”

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew called the deal for Sissoko “massive” for the club.

"He will bring drive and energy to the squad, he is a winner and that's why I'm especially pleased to have him with us,” Pardew said. "What all our signings this window bring is essential competition for places and that is great for the remainder of the season."

Haidara adds to Newcastle defence

Sissoko joins 24 hours after Haidara became Newcastle’s fourth signing of the window. The France Under-21 left-back was acquired from Nancy on a five-and-a-half year deal after more than 50 appearances in Ligue 1.

"He's strong and quick and we're looking forward to seeing him develop here"
Alan Pardew

"It was the desire of the club to sign me up which was the most important factor," Haidara, who will wear the No 19 shirt, told the club’s website. "It was nothing to do with the league position.

"Also, I like the club's ambition to strengthen the whole team so we can improve our league position. That's what appealed to me so I didn't hesitate."

Pardew said: "Massadio is very highly thought of in France and he's somebody who our scouting team have been greatly impressed by. He's strong and quick and we're looking forward to seeing him develop here."

Sissoko and Haidara are likely to be available to make their home debuts in the Barclays Premier League match with Chelsea on 2 February for which tickets are still available. Click here for more details.

Coloccini not leaving

Meanwhile Pardew has confirmed that Fabricio Coloccini will remain at St James' Park until the end of the season.

Reports suggested that the Newcastle captain was keen to return to his homeland of Argentina for family reasons, but Pardew said that after a chat, the 31-year-old defender would stay to help Newcastle's fight to climb the Barclays Premier League table.

"We have managed to persuade him that, as much as his family, we need him," Pardew told the club's website. "He has shown fantastic loyalty to continue playing and see us through to the summer at the very least.

"It's a situation that me and Colo have been on a personal journey, to make sure that he understands that he has a big responsibility here to fans and to families of this club. This club has been relegated once before and people lost their jobs here. We need our captain in and around us, and I'm pleased to say he has agreed to accept that."

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Key Points

  • Newcastle United sign Toulouse midfielder Moussa Sissoko
  • 20-year-old Nancy left-back Massadio Haidara also joins on a five-and-a-half-year deal
  • Captain Fabricio Coloccini persuaded to stay until the end of the season