Toon’s striker bid goes to the wire

TOON TARGET ... but Papiss Demba Cisse's move to Newcastle appears to have fallen through.
TOON TARGET ... but Papiss Demba Cisse's move to Newcastle appears to have fallen through.

NEWCASTLE United were battling against the clock today to sign a striker after having a £10.6m bid rejected for Freiburg’s Papiss Demba Cisse.

The club have until tonight’s 11pm transfer window deadline to complete their transfer business.

After signing defender Davide Santon and goalkeeper Rob Elliot yesterday, Newcastle are focusing all their energies on signing a forward.

And United could opt to make an improved offer for Senegal international Cisse, who has also interested Sunderland, although Sochaux’s unsettled forward Modibo Maiga and Manchester United’s Federico Macheda remain targets.

Sochaux are keen to sign a replacement before sanctioning a deal for Maiga, and were linked with Leeds United’s Max Gradel, who is on the brink of joining St Etienne.

Manager Alan Pardew was today tight-lipped on the club’s efforts to sign a striker.

While the club signed Demba Ba on a free transfer earlier this summer, Andy Carroll – sold to Liverpool in January for £35m – is yet to be replaced.

And the pressure is on United’s hierarchy deliver the striker the club’s supporters have been demanding since Carroll’s exit.

“There is one more day to go,” and obviously we’re hoping to get a player in,” said Pardew.

Another option is a loan signing, and Man United’s Macheda has been strongly linked with Newcastle, though the 20-year-old is not understood to be a primary target. United have been frustrated in their attempts to sign a forward up to now, with Kevin Gameiro and Melvut Erding having been previous targets.

Meanwhile, Nile Ranger has again been linked with Blackpool, who failed in an attempt to sign the raw and pacy 20-year-old earlier in the summer.

United are willing to sell the striker, who has struggled to make an impression at Premier League level after making a first-team breakthrough during the club’s Championship-winning campaign.

Former Newcastle manager Chris Hughton, now in charge of Birmingham City, is also keen to sign Ranger on loan.