Newcastle manager Steve McClaren has stated that striker Papiss Cisse is not for sale, despite rumours dictating that the powerful attacker could be on the move.
The Senegalese forward has been linked with a St James’ Park exit, especially since the Tyneside club splurged on Aleksandar Mitrovic during the summer.
However, with speculation continuing that Cisse could still leave Newcastle, McClaren has moved quickly to clarify that the African was part of his plans going forward.
“He’s not going anywhere. I came here and there was a lot of debate and talk about Papiss coming or going and whether he would be staying,” McClaren is quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
“I said to [managing director] Lee Charnley, if you look at his record it’s fantastic. Eleven goals in 22 games was fantastic and, to be perfectly honest, he was the one who was missed when the team weren’t winning those games.
“He’s a threat. He’s a goalscorer. When you’ve got Papiss in the team you always have a chance of winning games, and I think that’s what he did last season.
“I think Newcastle have a better chance of winning with Papiss in the team. He played the first two games and not the last two, but we hope he comes back ready to prove a point.”
Newcastle are yet to win a game in 2015-16 and travel to take on West Ham on Monday night at Upton Park.
With Mitrovic suspended after getting sent off against Arsenal, the emphasis will be on others to get the goals to see McClaren’s men leave the London fixture with three points.
Newcastle have only picked up two points from their first four games, drawing with both Southampton and Manchester United since the start of the campaign.