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18 January 2012, 05:15
Newcastle United have completed the signing of striker Papiss Cissé on a five and a half year deal from SC Freiburg.
He'll take the iconic number 9 shirt when he joins the team on Tyneside after he's played in the Africa Cup of Nations for his home team, Senegal.
Cissé, aged 26, is currently on duty with his national side ahead of their imminent Africa Cup of Nations campaign, but flew to Tyneside on Tuesday to put pen to paper on the deal.
The forward began his career with AS Douanes, in Dakar, and went on to have prolific spells at French clubs Metz, Cherbourg and Chateauroux.
In December 2009, he switched to German outfit SC Freiburg, where he struck 37 goals in just 65 appearances.
Cissé scored for Senegal in their final Africa Cup of Nations warm-up match on Sunday - a 1-0 win over Kenya - and that was his ninth goal from 13 internationals caps.
"I would like to thank everybody for their welcome, and for inviting me to sign for the Club," said Cissé.
It is an honour to play for such a big club and I am looking forward to it.
I want to pay back the confidence the Club have shown in me, and give the supporters something to be proud of.
I am aware of the huge importance of the number nine shirt, and when I spoke with the manager he made it very clear how important this shirt is.
I will treat it with the respect and I hope to do my very best in this shirt."
Managing Director Derek Llambias added:
"We are very pleased to bring Papiss to the Club.
It is a signing which perfectly complements the type of side Alan is building, and we are sure he will prove to be an excellent acquisition going forward.
He has travelled a long way to come and sign with us today, and we thank the Senegalese Football Federation for their assistance in helping us secure the player."
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew said:
"Ever since Andy Carroll left, Papiss was my first choice in the specific role he has at the end of the play.
He is a finisher with an already-established CV in the Bundesliga, where we have monitored him for the best part of two years.
Unfortunately he was out of reach, financially, for us in the summer, but it recently became apparent that Derek Llambias and Lee Charnley could do the deal in this window.
It has become obvious this season that the team and the Club have done exceptionally well, and Mike Ashley has backed me to bring this player to the Club.
I would like to thank Mike, Derek and everyone involved for getting this deal over the line.
I spoke to Demba about Papiss, and he cannot wait to join up with his teammate in Newcastle.
In the short-term, of course, he is at the Africa Cup of Nations, but the competition he will bring to our squad when he joins up with us should inspire the players and reassure them of this Club's ambition.
Our fans know that this shirt brings its own pressures. One of the iconic numbers in world football - the number nine of Newcastle.
It will be only fair that Papiss is given time to understand the responsibility it brings.
As the manager, I wish him all the luck in the world to bring success to himself and this Club."
Meanwhile, Cisse's former employers today wished the striker well at his new club.
Freiburg's director of sport Dirk Dufner told the club's official website:
"We knew that we were not going to be able to keep such an exceptional player like Papiss permanently.
We are very grateful for the two years he has spent in our team and how he has contributed to our successful seasons following promotion with his 37 league goals in 65 games.
The whole of SC Freiburg wishes him all of the best and we, like him, are delighted with the next step in his career.''