Gervinho open to Prem switch

Pardew's Magpies the latest to be linked with Ivorian frontman

Gervinho: Wanted man

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Lille's in-demand striker Gervinho has refused to play down reports linking him with Newcastle.

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The Ivory Coast international has enjoyed a productive 2010/11 campaign, helping to fire his current employers to the top of Ligue 1.

His exploits have thrust him into the European spotlight, with numerous clubs reported to be plotting summer raids.

Spanish giants Atletico Madrid were believed to be leading the hunt, but the door remains open for other suitors to join the race.

Newcastle could be among those prepared to chance their arm, with Alan Pardew in the market for a striker following the January sale of Andy Carroll to Liverpool.

Privilege

Gervinho admits he would welcome the opportunity to turn out in Spain or England, but insists any talk regarding his future must wait until the end of the season.

"Newcastle are a good team," he said.

"I have been linked to various teams now but I am still under contract at Lille until 2012, so I am not worrying.

"We are top of the league and I want to win that. At the end of the season we can sit down and see what the next step will be. I want to concentrate on my football.

"The Spanish and English leagues are two of the best in the world and it would be a privilege to play there, but I belong to Lille until 2012."

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