Papiss Cisse misses Newcastle's Portugal trip over Wonga row
Papiss Cisse will miss Newcastle’s pre-season training camp to Portugal – as the row over his refusal to wear a Wonga-branded shirt intensified today.
The Mirror’s north east correspondent, Simon Bird, has reported that Cisse’s future at Newcastle is in serious doubt and he will not be joining his team mates on a week long trip which includes friendly matches.
Newcastle’s sponsorship deal with Wonga requires all players to wear the pay-day loan firm’s name on their kit when travelling, as well as during games.
Cisse and his agent have been in talks with United officials for a month, with the striker unwilling to wear Wonga’s name on religious and ethical grounds.
Cisse, a Muslim, has offered to wear and unbranded shirt or one carrying the name of a charity, as revealed by MirrorFootball last week, but that has not been accepted by owner Mike Ashley, who is standing firm on his club’s deal with Wonga.
The hit-man has been told Newcastle want him to travel, but only wearing Wonga kit, but neither side is prepared to compromise.
Cisse has also been told his training needs will be catered for on Tyneside.
United are losing patience with Cisse’s stance, but he has won the admiration of campaigners who say Wonga exploit the poor with their huge interest rates.
Newcastle bought Cisse for £9million from Freiburg 18 months ago and he has netted 21 goals for the club.
United are short of strike options and this latest distraction is a nightmare scenario for boss Alan Pardew.