Magpies close in on Remy signing
Newcastle have reached an agreement in principle to sign striker Loic Remy from Marseille.
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The 26-year-old forward has been linked with a number of Barclays Premier League clubs, but Marseille president Vincent Labrune has now indicated that the Magpies are close to clinching his signature.
"We have an agreement in principle with Newcastle, it is true," Labrune told RMC Sport radio station in France.
"We have therefore given Loic permission to chat with them. For the rest, we must wait patiently."
It was reported that Remy had left the Marseille squad preparing for a Ligue 1 match against Sochaux in order to seal his move to St James' Park.
Remy's Marseille team-mate, Joey Barton, himself a former Newcastle player, appeared to indicate the deal was done when he tweeted: "Good luck to Loic in Newcastle. Don't worry i've told him what to expect. Great guy. Perfect club for him. £toonarmy"
Newcastle are yet to make any official confirmation of the deal being done, however.
Remy has featured in 14 Ligue 1 games for Marseille this season, but has only started in two of them, and only has one league goal so far this term. However, he scored 12 goals last season in the league, having hit 15 the season before, and would give Newcastle boss Alan Pardew a significant new option up front, something he feels is desperately needed.
"It is pretty obvious that we need another striker," Pardew said after the goalless draw against Norwich on Saturday.
"We didn't really have the chance to mix it up or an option so we had to stick to the game plan that we had at the start of the game.
"Norwich could bring on Grant Holt to change the game plan a bit but we don't have that luxury. So we need to recruit in the next couple of weeks."
Despite the concerns over his options up front, Pardew was happy to see his team end their losing streak and record their first league clean sheet away from home all season.
With key games coming up against Reading, Aston Villa, Chelsea and Tottenham, Pardew knows his team must start winning matches and he is confident they will do just that.
"With the two games we have next we have a chance to gain some momentum," said Pardew, who welcomed influential midfielder Yohan Cabaye back yesterday after a two-month groin injury lay-off.
"It was a really important day today. Then we have Chelsea at home.
"If we have our best players available then we will give them a good game.
"Getting Cabaye back was a massive lift for us. He had 20 minutes and he will start next week."
Norwich manager Chris Hughton has similar problems to Pardew up front, but they should be eased by the return of captain Holt.
He came on for the last 22 minutes yesterday having missed the previous three games with a hamstring injury and his manager was pleased to have him back.
"It was an important day for Grant. We weren't in a position to play him for 90 minutes," Hughton said.
"He will have another week's training and will be ready for next week."
Like Pardew, Hughton intends to be active in the transfer market over the next two and a half weeks.
The former Newcastle boss has been linked with a move for Gary Hooper and Danny Graham, but he admits he may have to wait until the end of the window before landing his targets.
"We are working hard but the majority of work is done in the last week or 10 days of the window," Hughton added.
"It's very difficult to bring in players at this time because prices are inflated.
"You have to make sure that any player you bring in isn't just an addition to the squad - they have to improve what you have got. We are working hard and we will continue to do so."