Newcastle transfer news: Signings are unlikely despite freefall in the Premier League

Papiss Cissé is in a race to play after leaving the African Cup of Nations

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The Independent Football

Newcastle United do not have a permanent head coach, have admitted they are highly unlikely to sign any players in January and have lost seven of their last nine games.

To that backdrop they sent out season-ticket renewals last week. The club, however, do not expect a significant fall from current levels. Premier League football has proved an irresistible carrot for supporters, despite an apparent apathy inside the club that is causing alarm.

However, the fans’ view will undoubtedly change if next season they are presented with Championship football. Newcastle face  third-bottom Hull today and, if they lose, the gap between the sides will be down to five points.

It is a reminder that there is still plenty to play for, if it is not quite the push for Europe or the glamour of a cup run that the supporters crave.

Januarys at Newcastle have been huge indicators of the club’s aspirations. In January 2011, they sold Andy Carroll without a replacement when they were effectively safe. That season was effectively written off.

This time last year, they sold Yohan Cabaye and did not replace him. The season was effectively written off.

Yohan Cabaye left Newcastle in January


Only in January 2013 did the Newcastle owner, Mike Ashley, release the tightest of purse strings to sign five French players. Then Newcastle were fighting for their lives to stay in the Premier League.

Survival matters, which is why the temporary head coach, John Carver, knows he cannot afford to lose at Hull, the ground where last season he finished the game in charge following manager Alan Pardew’s sending-off for head-butting David Meyler.

Newcastle are hopeful that Papiss Cissé, their leading Premier League scorer with nine goals, will have flown back from the African Cup of Nations in time, following Senegal’s defeat to Equatorial Guinea. Cheick Tioté is still there with the Ivory Coast.


Dutch international midfielder Siem de Jong, a big-money summer signing who has hardly featured because of injury, played in a behind-closed-doors game this week but is not yet ready.

Of consolation to Carver might be the fact that Hull could not use their training ground yesterday because the gas board had not fixed the heating. That is a set-back even Newcastle have yet to experience.