EMMANUEL RIVIERE thinks he is the perfect fit to lead the line at St James’ Park after becoming Newcastle United’s latest summer signing last night.
The Frenchman has signed a ‘long-term’ contract, believed to be six years, on Tyneside after passing a medical on a £6m switch from mega-rich Monaco.
And after taking a tour of St James’ Park and Newcastle’s facilities he is confident he will be able to shine in his new surroundings
Riviere can’t wait to get going, knowing he will be flying out to New Zealand on Newcastle’s pre-season tour.
The 24-year-old said: “I'm so excited. When I came and I saw the stadium, I thought it was so amazing. I imagined what it would be like when it's full of people. I want to smell the passion around when I play.
"I've watched Newcastle on TV and seen the French guys play every week for this club. I think it's a big club and a good club for me. It has a lot of fans and a good manager. It will be a new experience for me.
“I asked many people about it and they told me that the atmosphere is crazy. They said the fans push the team. I have been told it's a special club for strikers too. I want to work and to improve. I know when I score here, the fans will be with me.”
Riviere, formerly of St Etienne and Toulouse, scored 14 goals in 44 Ligue 1 games and has represented France at every level apart from the senior squad.
And with Daryl Janmaat’s £5m arrival from Feyenoord expected to be confirmed today, Newcastle’s spending is closing in on the £30m mark – but Alan Pardew has been told to carry on spending.
Pardew is still on the look-out for another striker and if he can bring in the man he wants then that would mean seven new arrivals before the start of the Premier League season.
Jack Colback (free), Ayoze Perez (1.8m), Siem De Jong (7.5m), Remy Cabella (£7m), Janmaat (£5m) and Riviere (£6m) will have joined the ranks but Pardew still feels there is a hole to fill in attack.
If Newcastle’s managing director Lee Charnley can broker a deal with Lyon for France international Alexandre Lacazette then that would smash through the £30m barrier in a single transfer window.
Ashley will not match the £16m valuation put on Lacazette by Lyon, so other options are being considered. Queens Park Rangers’ Loic Remy is certainly one, while Real Sociedad’s Antoine Griezmann has caught the eye in the past.
Griezmann’s World Cup displays mean his value is likely to have soared out of Newcastle’s reach, while former Newcastle striker Demba Ba is expected to complete a season long loan move from Chelsea to Besiktas.
Remy and Shola Ameobi both left at the end of the season meaning Papiss Cisse is the only recognised senior striker in the squad with experience of the English top-flight. In January there was even interest from Russia and Turkey in Cisse and that could still be revived.
The acquisition of Cabella has caught the imagination on Tyneside, although Montpellier yesterday suggested it was for much more than the £7m fee being claimed by St James’ Park sources.
Montpellier president Louis Nicollin, who has been critical of Newcastle for over a year on different things, has also knocked Cabella’s decision to choose the North-East rather than further south.
Nicollin, understood to have expressed an interest in Sylvain Marveaux, said: “Personally I would not go to Newcastle, but hey I will see him when he plays against a club in London. He has what he wants, fine, we’ll see. But in any case he has the ability to succeed in England, for sure. It was not for 15m euros (the asking price) but it is not far.”