Football Rumours: Newcastle boss Alan Pardew targeting Ivory Coast star

AFTER agreeing to a new eight-year contract, Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has now been given the green light to sign Ivory Coast sensation Seydou Doumbia.

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley placed the future firmly in the hands of the former West Ham boss yesterday, and according to reports today is ready to back Pardew’s �16million pursuit of the CSKA Moscow striker.

But Newcastle face a battle to bring the international striker to Tyneside as Italian clubs Lazio and Napoli have also allegedly registered their interest.

The 24-year-old notched 26 goals for the Russian club last season – and 38 the campaign before that – and has been capped by his country 10 times.

With the future of Demba Ba far from certain the Ivorian could be a welcome addition for Pardew in the January transfer window.

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Elsewhere, Manchester United are interested in signing Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal, a 25-year-old Chile international.

The dynamic midfielder is also on the radar of Manchester City and Real Madrid, while at around �40million Sir Alex Ferguson will have some persuading to do in the boardroom.

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It is understood the Italian club would not stand in his way if an offer close to their valuation was received, with Vidal having tasted some glory in England already after scoring in his side’s Champions League 2-2 stalemate against Chelsea last week at Stamford Bridge.

Meanwhile, Nottingham Forest agreed to pay a third of Jermaine Jenas’s �45,000-a-week wages to beat Championship rivals to the one-month loan signing of the former England midfielder, 29, who started his career at the City Ground.

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas will have no say if Blackburn come in for Tim Sherwood, while the 1995 Premier League champions are taking on Portuguese youth international keeper Rafael Veloso.

Back at White Hart Lane, goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, 25, has demanded talks with Villas-Boas after Brad Friedel, 41, started in Wednesday’s 3-0 Capital One Cup win over Carlisle.

Across the capital, it is alleged Arsenal tried to sign Belgium forward Eden Hazard from Lille last summer but withdrew their interest because the likes of Chelsea, whom he joined, and Manchester City were also in pursuit and offering huge wages.

Former QPR midfielder and Hungary international Akos Buzsaky, 30, is training with Portsmouth but is still considering his options, according to his agent.

And finally, former England goalkeeper David James is ready to make Bournemouth his eighth club and extend his career into a 25th year, while Papa Bouba Diop is having a trial at Birmingham.

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