LOIC REMY was rewarded for an impressive season at Newcastle United with a World Cup call-up last night – which is also likely to signal the end of his St James’ Park stay.
Remy saw off the challenge of his closest rival Alexandre Lazcette to claim the fourth and final attacking spot in France’s 23-man squad for the Brazil finals along with Magpies team-mates Mathieu Debuchy and Moussa Sissoko.
Didier Deschamps had been weighing up whether to opt for Lyon’s Lazcette, who has been included on a stand-by list, instead because of the Newcastle man’s injury-hit last few months of the campaign.
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But Remy, who hit 15 goals to lead Newcastle’s scoring charts, has received the nod along with Karim Benzema, Olivier Giroud and Real Sociedad’s highly-sought after 23-year-old, Antoine Griezmann.
An appearance at the World Cup is only likely to reduce the chances of Remy joining Newcastle on a full-time basis this summer.
He is due to return to Queens Park Rangers at the end of his season-long loan to Tyneside and staying at Loftus Road could yet be a possibility if Harry Redknapp’s team overcome Derby at Wembley in the Championship play-off final.
There is also strong interest in him from elsewhere in the Premier League. Arsenal and Tottenham are known to be the front-runners, although Everton have also emerged as realistic contenders.
Toffees boss Roberto Martinez fears he may not be able to acquire Romelu Lukaku on a full-time basis from Chelsea and Remy is high on his list of alternatives.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is pressing ahead with his attempts to make quick progress on the transfer front – and a first new signing could actually be secured by the end of next week.
Pardew has, though, sanctioned the departure of Dan Gosling. The midfielder’s contract is due to expire at the end of next month and Championship clubs are lining up to take him.
Bournemouth are the front-runners at the moment and Cherries boss Eddie Howe tried to sign him on loan earlier in the campaign.
Gosling, 24, made just five Premier League starts and 19 appearances from the bench at Newcastle during an injury-ravaged spell in the North-East.
Newcastle full-back Paul Dummett, meanwhile, has had his red card from the 2-1 defeat by Liverpool rescinded following a hearing of the Football Association's Independent Regulatory Commission.
Dummett, 22, was given a straight red by referee Phil Dowd shortly after coming on at Anfield on Sunday for his mistimed lunge on Luis Suarez.
An appeal was made on the grounds of wrongful dismissal and the Commission has upheld his appeal. The decision means Dummett will not have to serve a three match ban when the new Premier League season starts in August.