Newcastle have reached an agreement in principle to sign striker Loïc Rémy from Marseille. The 26-year-old forward has been linked with a number of Premier League clubs, but the Marseille president, Vincent Labrune, said: "We have an agreement in principle with Newcastle, it is true. We have therefore given Loïc permission to chat with them. For the rest, we must wait patiently."
Rémy aside, this is a crucial January for Newcastle United. They have been paying the price all season for their summer of drift, finding themselves much closer to the relegation zone than the Champions League places they threatened last year.
They have already lost Demba Ba, and missed him desperately in Saturday's dire 0-0 draw at Norwich City. The next priority is to keep Fabricio Coloccini, their captain, who wants to return to Argentina.
"We've got a meeting this week and we're going to try and resolve it," manager Alan Pardew said. Further questions about Coloccini were repeatedly shut down by a club official but Pardew was impressed by his contribution on the pitch: "He's a class player. Great players can play through crises. It is players of his calibre and Tim Krul and Yohan Cabaye that are going to get us up the league, which we need to do."
Cabaye was a late substitute after two months out and the most meaningful moment of the afternoon was at the end when he threw his shirt to the Newcastle fans.
"I'm very happy to be back," Cabaye said. "We didn't lose the game so it was a good day."