Cisse urges Toon to keep stars

Striker keen for Ba and Tiote to stay on Tyneside

Papiss Cisse: Keen for Ba and Tiote to stay at Newcastle this summer

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Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse has urged the club to keep hold of key duo Demba Ba and Cheick Tiote during this summer's transfer window.

A number of the Magpies' star players are unsurprisingly attracting interest from elsewhere as the club close on crowning an impressive Premier League campaign with a place in Europe next season.

Ba and Tiote, as well as highly-rated goalkeeper Tim Krul, have been linked with moves to fellow top-flight clubs, with Chelsea and Tottenham thought to have an eye on the trio.

Cisse, who has made a big impact on Tyneside since his January arrival from German side SC Freiburg, scoring goals 10 goals in nine games, hopes Newcastle's key players remain at St James' Park over the summer so they can build on their successful campaign next season.

And on a more personal level, the 26-year-old admits the departures of Ba and Tiote would strike a blow after the African pair have helped him adapt to life at the Premier League club.

"Yes, I would be worried if they (Ba and Tiote) left, because they have helped me a lot," Cisse told the Northern Echo.

"It may affect me because of that, but at the end of the day that's football and if a big opportunity came along for them to move they can, but I would love for them to stay and play here longer, because we are doing very well together.

"It's down to Newcastle, they will do the right thing. At the end of the day I trust the club and they will do the right thing."

Drought

Cisse has replaced Senegal international team-mate Ba as Newcastle's man of the moment in recent weeks, with his compatriot having scored just once since his arrival, despite having netted 16 times beforehand in a superb debut season.

The striker believes Ba's drought is down to the system manager Alan Pardew has adopted, with the two frontmen functioning as part of a front three alongside Hatem Ben Arfa, and has backed the Toon's top scorer to break his duck in the near future.

"There's no rivalry between me and Demba," he said.

"He has scored more goals than me and he's opened up many doors for me. We are playing how the manager has asked us to play and sometimes that means Demba playing out wide and me playing more centrally as a striker.

"Sometimes we switch round and he goes to attack meaning I have to defend. He's really happy for me to score and I'm happy when he scores. He's gone a few games without scoring, but he will do it again very soon."