PAPISS Demba Cisse has been told he won’t be going it alone up front next season.
The striker has resolved his dispute with the club over wearing a Wonga-branded jersey.
And Cisse – who didn’t travel to Portugal for the club’s two-game pre-season tour – was set to train with his team-mates today for the first time since reporting back to Tyneside earlier this month.
He has agreed to wear a Wonga logo on his shirt.
The 28-year-old – who had been unwilling to promote the lender on religious grounds – could now make his seasonal debut in Sunday’s friendly against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road, or Tuesday night’s visit to St Mirren.
Cisse was used as a lone forward for much of last season as United battled to stay in the Premier League.
However, Pardew – who hopes the club signs at least one striker in this summer’s transfer window – has signalled a change in tactics ahead of the new campaign.
“I hope to play with two strikers this year more often than not,” Pardew said.
It emerged yesterday that lengthy discussions between committed Muslim Cisse, his representative and Newcastle had led to a successful resolution of a dispute that was seemingly edging the Senegal international towards a summer exit.
The Professional Footballers Association were also involved in the negotiations, as were payday lenders Wonga, whose interest rates are frequently criticised, most recently by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
It is unclear how the two sides had come to a resoluton, such had been the apparent deadlock.
But the news is a significant lift to United and Pardew.
Pardew is still waiting for the club to sign a striker – Newcastle are in talks with Olymique Lyonnais over a move for Bafetimbi Gomis – with the start of the season less than a month away.
Aston Villa’s Darren Bent and Queens Park Rangers’s Loic Remy are other targets.
Pardew feels Cisse would benefit from a player making runs behind him.
Last term Cisse – whose goals took United into the Europa League the season before last – struggled for form up front.
However, he demonstrated the previous campaign how effective he can be given the right service in the box, and Pardew is looking to address that situation.