Cisse’s Newcastle United future hangs in the balance

Papiss Cisse
Papiss Cisse
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PAPISS Cisse’s Newcastle future is hanging in the balance.

The Senegalese striker is set for more talks with the Magpies this week over his unwillingness to wear a Wonga-branded shirt.

Cisse, a devout Muslim, objects to promoting the payday lender on religious grounds (Islam forbids the lending of money for interest).

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is desperate to keep Cisse, and the Professional Footballers’ Association have been asked to intervene in the dispute.

Cisse – who returned to Tyneside for pre-season training late last week – has already held discussions with the club’s hierarchy over the issue.

Pardew still hopes the situation can be resolved.

The 28-year-old has reportedly offered to instead wear a jersey bearing the logo of a charity.

However, Newcastle, having signed a lucrative deal with Wonga, will be reluctant to sanction such a move. The situation could become clearer this week.

Cisse, signed from German club Freiburg last year, will not be involved in tomorrow night’s opening pre-season friendly against Motherwell as he returned later than the rest of the squad because of his involvement in Senegal’s summer internationals.

He will travel to Portugal on Wednesday with his team-mates ahead of the Magpies’ two-game tour of the country.

There is a precedent in football for the Cisse situation, with Frederic Kanoute having refused to wear a Sevilla shirt advertising a gambling company on religious grounds. The Muslim striker wore an unbranded jersey.