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Cisse urges Newcastle not to sell this summer
NEWCASTLE UNITED'S man of the moment Papiss Cisse has urged the club to do everything in its power to keep a hold of their coveted players when the transfer window reopens this summer.
Although there are still four weeks left of the current campaign, speculation over the future of certain players at Newcastle has already started.
Tim Krul, Cheik Tiote and Demba Ba are all attracting interest from fellow Premier League clubs, with Chelsea and Tottenham both understood to be looking at the trio.
Given the Magpies' form this term - they are joint fourth with Spurs on 59 points as things stand - interest in some of their key players isn't surprising.
But with a European campaign more or less guaranteed on Tyneside next season, Pardew will want to keep the squad that has performed so well together, while adding a few faces to strengthen his ranks in the summer.
But for Cisse, the importance of keeping strike partner Ba and Tiote is two fold. Of course, the Senegal striker hopes the squad will stay together so they can build on their successful campaign, but the departures of the African pair would be a huge blow for the 26-year-old.
Having Tiote, and Ba in particular, at the club has helped Cisse settle in to life on Tyneside following his January move from German side SC Freiburg and he admits it would be disappointing to see any player depart St James' Park during the close season.
"Yes, I would be worried if they (Ba and Tiote) left, because they have helped me a lot," Cisse said.
"It may effect me because of that, but at the end of the day that's football and if a big opportunity came along for them to move they can, but I would love for them to stay and play here longer, because we are doing very well together.
"It's down to Newcastle, they will do the right thing. At the end of the day I trust the club and they will do the right thing."
Cisse has enjoyed a blistering start to his Newcastle career having notched 10 goals in his first nine games for the club, a record which surpasses the 14 games it took former number nine Alan Shearer to reach that mark.
In contrast, Cisse's strike partner and fellow countryman Ba has only scored once since his arrival in January, despite having scored 16 times in a magnificent debut season at Newcastle.
But while it seems Cisse has stolen the limelight from his Senegalese pal over the last few months, the 26-year-old insists it is down to the system Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has adopted and not because of his arrival.
The strikers have been operating as part of a front three alongside Hatem Ben Arfa and it is no coincidence the Magpies have won their last five games with that attacking line-up.
Cisse is confident he and Ba can continue to strike up a deadly partnership no matter what system the Magpies play and believes Newcastle's top scorer will hit the back of the net again very soon.
"There's no rivalry between me and Demba," he said.
"He has scored more goals than me and he's opened up many doors for me. We are playing how the manager has asked us to play and sometimes that means Demba playing out wide and me playing more centrally as a striker.
"Sometimes we switch round and he goes to attack meaning I have to defend. He's really happy for me to score and I'm happy when he scores. He's gone a few games without scoring, but he will do it again very soon."
After their impressive run of wins recently, Newcastle have turned into genuine contenders for a Champions League place.
With Spurs not in action until Sunday afternoon when they travel to Queens Park Rangers, the Magpies could take over fourth place outright with a win against Stoke City on Saturday.
Cisse admits his ultimate goal is to play in Europe with Newcastle and with it looking extremely likely he will achieve that in his first full season on Tyneside, the striker has predicted exciting times for the club.
He said: "That's my objective, Europe. I like it. I sleep with it, I wake up with it every morning.
"I know it's tight at the top of the table, but I'm trying to do my best and hopefully we'll get there.
"I think Newcastle will go far in the future. If we keep doing what we're doing at the moment we will get better and better. I've noticed we have some very good players in the academy and eventually they will come into the first team and do their bit to take the team further."
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