Alan Pardew has revealed any club wishing to purchase out of form Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse in January will need to spend big.
Cisse, 28, joined the Magpies from SC Freiburg in 2012 and became an instant hit with the fans, scoring 13 goals in his first 14 games for the club.
However, the striker has struggled to recapture that form ever since, and finished his first full season at St James' Park with just eight Premier League goals. Yet to break his duck in the league this season, the Senegal forward saw a goal against Norwich City wrongly chalked off for offside.
Now, having been linked with a potential move in January as he struggles to earn a starting place in front of Loic Remy, Alan Pardew has confirmed that any attempts to steal Cisse away from Tyneside will require a significant fee.
“I am sure come January, a lot of teams will be looking at our situation," he told The Journal. "They would have to spend a lot of money. I would suggest to any club to just look at Mike Ashley’s record of selling players.
"Would he cost a lot? [That’s] correct. He is training well, looks sharp and looks ready. I genuinely think before we get to the FA Cup game (against Cardiff City on Jan. 4), he will have played and he is going to have to take his chance now because Shola Ameobi has done well. Loic Remy is playing well and Hatem Ben Arfa looked terrific when he came on at Manchester United.
“So he is in the pool now and if he wants to be a regular which Remy is now -- and you could not argue with that -- he needs to take his chance when he gets it. I am sure he is not ecstatic because footballers want to play. I have no problem with that.
"He certainly has not sulked about it. He is trying to do his job. It is not easy and he is not used to it. He has previously been a regular for us and has been a regular throughout his career.”
It follows Alan Shearer admitting a degree of sympathy for the striker, who has netted just once this season, during the League Cup tie with Leeds United.
Once the holder of the club's famous No.9 shirt, Shearer told the Chronicle: “I feel a bit for him. He came in and had a great start to his Newcastle career but he’s finding it a little bit tough at this moment in time. I don’t know him personally but he’s certainly not the player now that he was when he arrived.
"But you can only say that is down to confidence. It has affected him more than most going a few games without scoring. Service is always key -- whether you are scoring or not.
“As a centre-forward you are always quick to praise the guys who are supplying you. When things aren’t going so well, you look for a little bit more service. But that goes with the territory, that goes with a team who are confident and a player who is confident. At this moment you can tell Remy is playing with great confidence.”