He told Sky Sports:
“I am very happy in Newcastle and I want to stay there for many years.”
“We were close to a Champions League position so next season hopefully we will qualify for that and everyone will taste the Champions League.”
“I am looking forward to next season.”
This news is particularly heartening given the recent press speculation that clubs like moneybags Manchester City are apparently keen on stealing our star forward. A bid might still come in of course, and it might be of sufficient size to tempt the United “Board” to cash in. But it’s always a good start if the player himself wants to stay and is happy here.
And if we look at where United are just now, I think any bid for Cisse would have to be huge before Mike Ashley and his chums would seriously consider it. Financially, the club is stable – in operational terms, the books are balanced and some projections are that in the coming season, the club will actually make an operating profit. Any debt is Ashley’s own, to himself, and is not therefore subject to crippling interest payments.
On top of this, the current squad have proven that they are good enough to get into the top six of the English Premier League. So to sell any key players would be a step backwards, and I don’t think Mike Ashley would accept that at this point in time. He likes to go forward and make progress, he likes a challenge – you only have to look at the growth of his sports clothing business to see that. Additionally, having gate-crashed life at Football’s top table, and qualified for the Europa League, I think the United owner has an appetite for kicking on and seeing just how far the club can go on with his current management approach – an approach which is beginning to be copied by some other clubs. I think he will want to further strengthen the squad and build on the progress made last season.
Away from Cisse, the mischievous speculation and gossip about some of our other players continues. Cheick Tiote continues to be linked with Manchester United and Chelsea – but a lot of this seems to be the original Daily Fail story being echoed by other media outlets. Some commentators are pointing to the fact that United are talking to West Bromwich defensive midfielder Mulumbu as evidence that Tiote will be sold. But it could equally be pointed out that, having lost Alan Smith and Danny Guthrie to name but two and recruited only Romain Amalfitano so far, we are actually still at least one midfielder short of where we were last season. So it makes sense to be looking at whoever is available.
There’s also a story bouncing around that Manchester City want our skipper, Fabricio Coloccini. I can’t see Colo leaving United to warm the City bench for next season, and I don’t think the club would want to sell him. Colo signed a 4 year deal just before the mackem game, and I think he would like to see that contract through at St James’ Park.
Finally, there’s still the position of Demba Ba to be resolved, which we featured in a blog recently. All we can do is see how that one plays out. There is no doubt that the “buy out” clause does indeed exist in Demba’s contract. At the end of the day it will depend upon whether the player wants to leave, and whether the club have actually made any effort to persuade him to stay. In this respect, the news that United’s heirarchy had allegedly pulled out of negotiations to renegotiate the player’s contract was not a very positive sign really.
As ever, these are just my own observations and thoughts, based upon whatever speculation is currently bouncing around in the media. Please use the comment box below to share your own thoughts on the above, or anything else really!