Premier League

Nigeria are considering drafting Shola Ameobi into Africa Cup of Nations squad

Shola Ameobi: May be offered an international call-up by Nigeria

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Newcastle could lose a striker to the Africa Cup of Nations after all, with Nigeria monitoring Shola Ameobi.

Alan Pardew breathed a huge sigh of relief on Saturday when Senegal saw their involvement in the qualification process come to an end amid chaotic scenes - freeing Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba for New Year duty in the Premier League.

He will still be without Ivory Coast midfielder Cheick Tiote, who could potentially be missing until early February, but appeared set to keep his striking pool intact.

That may no longer be the case, with Nigeria revealing that they would be prepared to draft Ameobi into their squad if the former England U21 international expresses an interest in joining their ranks.

"Shola is a good striker and he has a chance to be on the plane to South Africa," said Nigeria head coach Stephen Keshi.

"I've been watching him closely and he's got something unique.

"He will definitely bring something different to the attack.

"I have Shola and (Everton's) Victor Anichebe in my striking plans."