Sissoko is happy at Newcastle United

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MOUSSA Sissoko has insisted he is “happy” at Newcastle United – and wants to help the Magpies push for Europe again.

The French midfielder’s future was thrown into doubt this week after some quotes from his agent surfaced, where he hinted that Sissoko was open to a possible transfer away from St James’s Park.

But the 24-year-old,preparing with the French national team for the World Cup, has reiterated his desire to stay on Tyneside.

Sissoko said: “I’m happy here and happy to play for Newcastle.

“Every week, I try to give my best performance.

“I will go to the World Cup and then come back ready for the new season.”

Sissoko signed from Toulouse in January last year for a bargain £2million, signing a six-and-a-half-year contract.

He immediately took English football by storm with a superb display against Chelsea, scoring twice in a 3-2 win.

His performances have not hit those heights again, but he played an integral part in Newcastle’s 10th-placed Premier League finish this season, making 35 league appearances, scoring three goals.

Sissoko created more chances than any other Newcastle player, and had more assists, and was handed the captain’s armband against Chelsea and Tottenham in the absence of Fabricio Coloccini and Cheick Tiote. And he wants to help Newcastle improve.

“It’s not very good, but if you finish in the top 10 it’s still a good effort, as last year we finished 16th,” he added.

“It’s better, and maybe next year we can finish in the top seven. In England, there’s a lot of good teams. You have got Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City, so it’s hard to finish in the top four or five, but we need to try. Next year we have to try to play better.”

H All professional players in England will be banned from betting on any matches anywhere in the world from next season.

The ruling was ratified at the FA’s AGM yesterday and will apply to any player in the top eight tiers of the league system. It replaces the current rules which only banned players from betting on competitions in which their club was involved.