Gouffran: Newcastle will beat the drop

Gouffran signed a four-and-a-half-year deal at St James' Park. Photo: PA

Yoan Gouffran embarked upon his Newcastle career confident relegation is not on the agenda.

The 26-year-old striker signed a four-and-a-half-year deal at St James' Park after completing a move for an undisclosed fee, believed to be in the region of £1.4million, from Bordeaux.

He arrived with the Magpies sitting just two points clear of the bottom three and facing a big game at fellow strugglers Aston Villa on Tuesday evening.

However, Gouffran, who became Alan Pardew's third January signing after compatriots Mathieu Debuchy and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, is not at all concerned that that situation will persist.

He said: "I am not worried at all. I know the players who play here at Newcastle already. They are fantastic players.

"Newcastle isn't in the position it should be in the league. Whether it's myself or the other players in the team, we are going to try our utmost to make sure we can climb up the league to where we should be.

"I think with the players Newcastle have, we can realistically be aiming to finish at least in the top eight."

Gouffran's recruitment addressed one of the more pressing issues facing Pardew this month following the departure of leading scorer Demba Ba for Chelsea.

Ba's goals have been seriously missed - the Magpies have scored only twice in the four games they have played since the Senegal international headed for Stamford Bridge - and with Papiss Cisse struggling for form, greater potency was a must as the manager drew up his wish-list.

Having seen QPR counterpart Harry Redknapp gazump him to land first-choice frontman Loic Remy, Pardew will be relieved to have finally got a forward in, and the newcomer is confident he can be a hit on Tyneside.

Asked what qualities he will bring to the club, Gouffran said: "Speed. I am fast and I score goals."

Ba's return of 29 goals in his 18 months at St James' will be a hard act to follow, but Frenchman Gouffran is far from daunted by the task of attempting to follow in his footsteps and form a partnership with Cisse.

He said: "There's not really any added pressure. Yes, I am an attacker; yes, I want to score goals. But we [he and Ba] both have different styles of play.

"I don't really think it's fair to draw any comparisons between both of us. Each player has his own style. Each to his own.

"Papiss Cisse and I played against each other when he was at Metz in France, and he is someone who has really made a lot of progress here at Newcastle and he has scored some great goals.

"I had a chat with him this morning for the first time. We get on really well. He's a great guy and I have no worries that we can definitely play together well."

Newcastle's spending spree is far from over with Nancy full-back Massadio Haidara close to completing his move, while their pursuit of Toulouse midfielder Moussa Sissoko too is reaching the end-game stage.

Press Association Sport understands the player could head for the north-east tomorrow with Toulouse having confirmed that a deal has been agreed.

A statement from Toulouse said: "He has reached agreement with Newcastle for a permanent transfer that takes effect today."

Newcastle stressed that contrary to the claims from France, that transfer was incomplete and Sissoko had not arrived, but it should be finalised soon.

As well as the new additions, Pardew is desperate to retain captain Fabricio Coloccini despite the 31-year-old's stated intention to return to South America because of a personal problem.

Coloccini trained with his team-mates this morning amid reports he was ready to down tools and not play for the club again, but having resisted attempts by his representatives to free him from his contract the Magpies are still hoping to keep him for the time being at least.