PAPISS Demba Cisse’s Newcastle future is hanging in the balance.
The striker is set for more talks with the club this week over his unwillingness to wear a Wonga-branded shirt.
Cisse, a devout Muslim, objects to promoting the payday lender on religious grounds.
Islam forbids the lending of money for interest.
United manager Alan Pardew is desperate to keep Cisse at St James’s Park, and the Professional Footballers’ Association have been asked to help find a resolution.
Cisse – who returned to Tyneside for pre-season training late last week – has already held discussions with the club’s hierarchy over the issue.
Pardew still hopes the situation can be resolved.
The 28-year-old has reportedly offered to instead wear a jersey bearing the logo of a charity.
However, Newcastle, having signed a lucrative deal with Wonga, will be reluctant to sanction such a move. The situation could become clearer this week.
Cisse, signed from German club Freiburg last year, won’t be involved in tomorrow night’s opening pre-season friendly against Motherwell as he returned later because of his involvement in Senegal’s summer internationals.
He will travel to Portugal on Wednesday with his team-mates ahead of the club’s two-game tour of the country.
There is a precedent in football for the Cisse situation, with Frederic Kanoute having refused to wear a Sevilla shirt advertising a gambling company on religious grounds.
The Muslim striker wore an unbranded jersey.
Newcastle have made no comment on the latest developments.
Meanwhile, Paris Saint-Germain are ready to make a formal bid for United midfielder Yohan Cabaye, according to sources in France.
PSG coach Laurent Blanc has made no secret of his desire to sign Cabaye, who last week returned to Tyneside for pre-season training.
Pardew warned last week that it would take a huge bid to prise a player like Cabaye from the club.
However, wealthy PSG are in a position to meet Newcastle’s valuation, and there is a feeling that Cabaye’s departure is inevitable.
United are yet to sign a senior player, but there could be progress early this week, with director of football Joe Kinnear back from holiday.
Aston Villa striker Darren Bent remains Pardew’s No1 striking target.
* Former Newcastle United goalkeeper Steve Harper, 38, is close to joining Hull City.