Newcastle striker target 'settled' in France

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Paris Saint Germain striker Mevlut Erding insists that he is now fully focused on his role with the club, after a summer of speculation linking him with moves to Rennes and Newcastle United.

The 24-year-old Turkish international was a whisker away from swapping Ligue 1 allegiances before coming off the bench for PSG to score one and create another goal in a 3-1 win at Toulouse in August.

The inspired performance caused a change of heart in PSG sporting director Leonardo, who then refused to sell Erding and instead offer him a new and improved contract.

"At Toulouse, my mind was already set on moving to Brittany, and I would go there the next day," he revealed. "Everything was sorted out at 95 per cent.


"The last five per cent was what happened next. The next Monday when I went to the PSG training centre, I always had Rennes in my mind. I said goodbye to my team-mates, but I finally had no choice."

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew had also turned to Erding as a possible striker solution to fill the St James' Park void left by the January sale of Andy Carroll.

The Magpies used some of the £35million generated from his departure to add a number of new players, but as yet the squad are still short on striker options.

Had Erding joined Newcastle in the summer, he would surely have been given the first-team opportunities that his international boss has told him he desperately needs.

"Guus Hiddink told me he has watched every PSG match, but I had to play more often if I want to be in the Turkish starting XI," he continued.

"But it is exceptional as a player to be part of PSG's new project. Nowadays, PSG is rising again and has everything to be serious contender for the national title.

"That is my objective, becoming champions of France with Paris."

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