Newcastle Will "Build Team Around" Liverpool, Arsenal And Man City Target, Insists McClaren

McClaren claims he told NUFC's board that Sissoko could not be sold this summer.

Newcastle United boss Steve McClaren has revealed that he told the Magpies board that the club "cannot lose" Moussa Sissoko when he took over - because he wants to "build a team around" the Frenchman. The 25-year-old midfielder has been attracting reported interest from Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain this summer - yet McClaren insists he wants Sissoko to stay on Tyneside. Sissoko has been played regularly by McClaren throughout pre-season, usually on the right of three attacking-midfielders in a 4-2-3-1 formation, and the France international seems to be thriving under the ex-England boss' management.

Speaking on BBC Newcastle, McClaren insisted he wants to keep hold of Sissoko. The Magpies head coach said:
"We cannot lose Moussa, I know there's a lot of interest but he's under contract. "On my first day he walked into my office, a specimen of a man, an absolute presence and a great manner - very professional and low maintenance. "I've said to Lee Charnley: 'Wow, we've got to keep this guy.' I want to build a team around him."
Despite these constant rumours about his future, Sissoko insisted earlier last month he is focused on plying his trade for the Magpies and believes the club have taken a step forward with the acquisitions of both Aleksandar Mitrovic and Georginio Wijnaldum this summer.
Speaking the the Shields Gazette, Sissoko said:
€œWhen you are a player, there is always a story, but I€™m still at Newcastle and I€™m happy here. €œI think we have a good team and we can have a good season. We all have to work together. €œFor me personally, I€™m happy to be here. I€™m working for the team and for myself.€
Sissoko made 38 appearances for the Magpies in all competitions last season, scoring on five occasions. But he actively flirted with Chelsea and Liverpool earlier in the summer - only for the 28-cap France international to effectively commit himself to the Magpies last month. He continued (Shields Gazette): €œI know the club want me to stay, and this year they will bring in some players. €œWe have a good team so we can do something good €“ better than last year, because the last six months of last year was very poor. €œI hope we can have a better season.€ Since joining Newcastle from Toulouse for £1.5 million in January 2013, Sissoko has scored 11 goals in 94 appearances across all competitions. For all the latest NUFC News, Views and Transfers make sure to follow on Twitter and Facebook.


NUFC editor for History graduate (University of Edinburgh) and NCTJ-trained journalist. I love sports, hopelessly following Newcastle United and Newcastle Falcons. My pastimes include watching and attending sports matches religiously, reading spy books and sampling ales.