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Newcastle's hunt for striker intensifies as Cisse faces lengthy absence

Newcastle's search for striking reinforcements has taken a new twist after it emerged that Papiss Cisse will be sidelined for a month after undergoing surgery.

Papiss Cisse is out for up to five weeks. Credit: PA

PA Sport understands the 30-year-old Senegal international will be out for four to five weeks after having a procedure to address the groin problem which has seen him miss the last five games.

Head coach Steve McClaren revealed last week that Cisse had returned to training after a third opinion on the injury which suggested he may not require an operation, but warned that could prove not to be the case.

Cisse's absence means summer signing Aleksandar Mitrovic, who scored his fourth goal for the club in Tuesday night's 3-3 Barclays Premier league draw with Manchester United, remains the Magpies' only fit specialist striker.

They have been tracking a series of possible additions in that department in recent weeks, but with Chelsea's Loic Remy and QPR's Charlie Austin now looking unlikely potential signings and Wolfsburg front man Bas Dost facing a six-week lay-off with a broken bone in his foot, the field has dwindled somewhat.

West Brom's Saido Berahino is among a list of players whose situations are being monitored, but the Magpies are far from lone potential suitors.

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Newcastle make moves for Saivet and Shelvey

Newcastle head coach Steve McClaren is hoping for a much-needed double transfer breakthrough as he attempts to drag the club out of yet another worrying tailspin.

Shelvey could be set to join Newcastle. Credit: PA

PA Sport reported that Bordeaux midfielder Henri Saivet was on Tyneside on Monday to discuss a potential move, while the Magpies are also understood to have formalised their long-held interest in Swansea's Jonjo Shelvey.

Senegal international Saivet, 25, has spent much of his career playing as a winger but has occupied a central role for his club this season and could cost in excess of £4million.

Shelvey, who was coveted by former boss Alan Pardew during his time at St James' Park, appears to be heading out of Swansea after losing his place under first Garry Monk and then new boss Alan Curtis.

He was reportedly involved in a row with a Swans fan following the club's 3-2 FA Cup third round defeat by League Two Oxford on Sunday.

Shelvey has been linked with a £10million switch to Newcastle as the club attempts to end a run of four consecutive 1-0 defeats and ease itself out of the Barclays Premier League relegation zone with home games against Manchester United on Tuesday evening and West Ham at the weekend.

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Newcastle striker set to miss festive matches

Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse could miss the entire holiday programme after an initial scan on his damaged groin proved inconclusive.

The Senegal international limped off 33 minutes into Saturday's 1-1 Barclays Premier League draw with Aston Villa at St James' Park after landing awkwardly, and is not only a major doubt for the Boxing Day clash but for the games which immediately follow.

Papiss Cisse has picked up a groin injury. Credit: PA

Head coach Steve McClaren said: "He's had a scan and he needs a second opinion on another to gauge the severity, how long [he will be out]. We still don't know, but he's a doubt for the weekend."

That represents a blow to McClaren, who has preferred Cisse to summer signing Aleksandar Mitrovic for the last four games, although the Serbia international came off the bench at Tottenham on December 13 to cancel out Eric Dier's opener and then set-up fellow substitute Ayoze Perez to clinch victory.

High Court rejects Ashley bid to have Rangers chairman jailed

Rangers chairman Dave King. Credit: PA

Sports Direct and Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has failed in his High Court bid to have Rangers chairman Dave King jailed for breaching a gagging order.

Ashley's company launched legal action against the Ibrox club and their chairman over an alleged breach of an injunction.

King was accused of breaking undertakings by giving a media interview in which he revealed the existence and contents of meetings related to contracts with Sports Direct.

The interview took place in South Africa and was filmed for Sky Sports in July.

Mr Justice Peter Smith, sitting in London, said after a morning hearing that he intends to reject the jailing application for reasons he will give on Thursday afternoon.

81-year-old feared to be Newcastle fire victim

Pictures show the damaged building after the blaze Credit: ITV News

An 81-year-old shopkeeper is believed to be the victim of a huge fire in Newcastle city centre yesterday.

In a statement, the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service said the believe the body found to be that of Brian Sandells, a popular local figure and the owner of the Kard Bar - the shop caught up in the blaze.

The damage caused by the fire has made the structure of the building potentially unsafe and so it has been extremely difficult for fire and police officers to get inside the building and carry out a full investigation of the premises.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this stage and a full investigation will be carried out.

A limited search has been undertaken and we can confirm that a body has been located in the building.

Although a formal identification has not been made it is believed that this may be the body of 81-year-old Brian Sandells.

Brian is known to live at Kard Bar and has not been seen since yesterday and his family have been unable to contact him.

Northumbria Police are keeping the family updated and will continue to support them at this difficult time.

– Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service
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