Ex-Magpie chasing two Newcastle midfielders

The Northern Echo: Wanted man: Mehdi Abeid has rarely appeared for Newcastle but is wanted in Athens full-time Wanted man: Mehdi Abeid has rarely appeared for Newcastle but is wanted in Athens full-time

AS Newcastle United press ahead with attempts to strengthen their attacking ranks, a former Tyneside favourite wants to persuade Alan Pardew to part with two of his foreign flops.

Nikos Dabizas, the ex-Magpies defender, has plans to hold advanced talks with the club’s managing director Lee Charnley aimed to land both Mehdi Abeid and Romain Amalfitano.

Dabizas, the technical director at Panathinaikos, has earmarked the two midfielders as key transfer targets this summer after successfully qualifying for the Champions League.

The Athens club have sealed a place in the third qualifying round of the premier European club competition after successfully winning the play-offs despite a 1-0 defeat to PAOK last weekend.

Having secured that spot, Dabizas is keen to make immediate progress on the club’s recruitment plans for the summer and he views Abeid as a priority.

The 21-year-old scored two goals in four play-off matches, helped Panathinaikos to win the Greek Cup and grabbed seven goals and five assists in his 28 appearances for them.

Dabizas has made no secret of a desire to acquire his services again following a successful season-long loan, but he has previously been put off a permanent deal because of a transfer fee.

Abeid, an Algerian Under-23 international with a record of playing regularly for France’s youth teams, has struggled to make an impact at Newcastle since arriving from Lens in 2011. He still has two years to run on his existing deal.

Amalfitano has also failed to make the impact he would have liked since arriving from Reims two years ago. After impressing during the pre-season of 2012, he has never made an appearance in the Premier League despite his three-year deal.

The 24-year-old has played regularly during a season-long loan at Dijon and that has led to Dabizas expressing tentative interest in taking the Frenchman to Greece with Abeid.

One player Newcastle would rather not sell is French international Moussa Sissoko. However, the World Cup-bound midfielder has made noises through his agent that he could be willing to listen to summer offers after a frustrating season on Tyneside.

Sissoko’s agent Frederic Guerra said: “He has only a year and a half on his contract at Newcastle and we are open to all proposals.”

Newcastle would be more willing to consider selling their fringe players, despite accepting that the important thing before August is to have bolstered the options available to Pardew.

The Newcastle boss remains keen on adding players with Premier League experience to his ranks, but chief scout Graham Carr’s work on the continent has led to movement.

It emerged yesterday that Tenerife are willing to allow young Spanish striker Ayoze Perez to move to the North-East, knowing the 20-year-old’s contract has a buy-out clause of £1.8m

Everton, Swansea City and Porto have also shown an interest in a player who still has three matches remaining to play for Tenerife this season. Perez’s agent, Olaf Bonales, told Sky Sports: “Ayoze will not be with the club (Tenerife) next season.”

Newcastle’s early moves on the transfer front have been on the continent. As well as talks with Tenerife, they have contacted Hertha Berlin about 22-year-old striker Pierre-Michel Lasogga and Montpellier for Remy Cabella.

* Alan Smith is close to agreeing a deal to become Notts County’s player coach. The former Newcastle and England midfielder, 33, has spent the last two seasons at MK Dons after leaving St James’ Park.

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