PAPISS Cisse is expected to return for pre-season training at Newcastle United next month after talk of interest from Russia in the striker was rubbished last night.
Headlines yesterday claimed that cash-rich Anzhi Makhachkala were preparing a £15.4m bid for the Senegal star.
Agent Guido Nickolay was quoted as saying a number of Russian sides were interested in the 27-year-old, who could command a wage of £2.5m a year if he moved.
But it emerged last night that Nickolay hasn’t represented Cisse for a year, and insists he hasn’t had any negotiations over a transfer involving the player.
“I’m not his agent anymore,” Nickolay told the Gazette.
“I don’t know where the quotes from Russia have come from.
“I haven’t been his agent since last May, so I wouldn’t try to get him a deal.”
Cisse is believed to be represented now by London-based agency World in Motion.
They were contacted by the Gazette last night, but no one was available for comment.
Cisse endured a difficult season at Newcastle, firing 13 goals in 45 appearances as the club battled against relegation for the majority of the campaign.
His form in Europe was better than the Premier League, and he sprung to Anzhi’s notice when he knocked the Russian side out of the Europa League with an injury-time winner at St James’s Park.
While his form hasn’t been as spectacular as when he first arrived in Janaury 2012, when he hit 13 goals in 14 appearances, Newcastle are not believed to be interested in cashing in on the frontman.
Having sold Demba Ba to Chelsea midway through the campaign, the Magpies need to strengthen their strikeforce, not weaken it.
Having said that, Mike Ashley showed with Andy Carroll that every player has his price, and if a club were to offer big money for Cisse – who cost £9.5m from German side Freiburg – he could be tempted to cash in.
The Gazette understands that Newcastle value Cisse at closer to £20m.