Northeast rivals Newcastle and Sunderland could be battling it out to land Freiburg’s Demba Papiss Cisse.
The Senegalese striker has previously been linked with Arsenal and has attracted interest from Bayern Munich, Fulham and Blackburn who had a £6.5m bid rejected.
During the summer it was reported that Steve Bruce made some enquiries to Freiburg, but the Sunderland board were put off by their £13m asking price. Given the lack of striking options following Asamoah Gyan’s shock move to the UAE and losing out to Stoke in the race for Peter Crouch’s signature, the Black Cats may have to up the ante.
Alan Pardew had a £10m bid rejected in the summer, but it is rumoured he will return in the January window with an improved offer.
Cisse (or Papiss Demba Cisse as he is sometimes known) could form a formidable, if not confusing, partnership with Newcastle’s Demba Ba or Leon Best as the Magpies will look to extent their initial good form into the second half of the season.
Freiburg are reluctant to sell their main goal threat as he scored just over half of their total league tally last season (22 out of 41), but they may cash in if the right offer is made.
The 26-year-old has publicly stated he wants away from the club, telling German radio station SWR; “I want to leave…I want to try to play at a different level.”
Freiburg chairman Fritz Keller remains stoical on the matter, insisting as long as he keeps performing the club can eventually make money in a lucrative deal.
“We are all still pretty calm, the boy has been doing a little in-house advertising, that’s legitimate,” said Keller. “As long as he is scoring goals for us, then things are very well.”