Newcastle hotshot Papiss Cisse has dismissed rumours that he could leave the club this summer.
The 26-year-old Senegal international has been a sensation since his January arrival on Tyneside with a return of 13 goals in just 14 appearances, helping the Magpies to an unexpected fifth-place Barclays Premier League finish.
Alan Pardew’s men exceeded expectations so spectacularly that speculation is already mounting they may be vulnerable to bids for the likes of goalkeeper Tim Krul, midfielders Yohan Cabaye and Cheick Tiote and strikers Cisse and compatriot Demba Ba from some of Europe’s biggest clubs.
However, with Newcastle last week having firmly denied reports that the former Freiburg frontman had issued a “come and get me” plea to Primera Division winners Real Madrid, he has moved to reassure the club’s fans.
Cisse told the Evening Chronicle: “I hope to continue scoring goals for Newcastle next season. I’m looking forward to playing in the Europa League.
“We wanted to play in the Champions League, but we can be very happy with what we have achieved this season.”
The Magpies headed into yesterday’s final day trip to Everton knowing victory could see them finish as high as third and book a Champions League adventure.
In the event, they lost 3-1, but with Arsenal and Tottenham both winning to claim third and fourth places respectively, they would have ended the campaign where they did regardless.
Cisse said: “It’s good to be in Europe next season, but I’m sorry for the supporters. We wanted to give them Champions League football. That was our objective.
“We are in the Europa League and I thank God for the season I have had. But we are still a little disappointed.”