Newcastle United sign striker Papiss Demba Cisse
Senegal striker Papiss Demba Cisse has joined Newcastle United from Bundesliga club Freiburg in a five-and-a-half-year deal, for an undisclosed fee.
The 26-year-old agreed the move before flying out to the Africa Cup of Nations, where he will join his new clubmate Demba Ba in the Senegal squad.
Cisse, who has scored nine goals in 15 league games this term, will wear the number nine shirt at Newcastle.
"It is an honour to play for such a big club," he said after signing.
Cisse will follow in a long line of number nines for Newcastle, for whom the likes of Hughie Gallacher, Jackie Milburn, Wyn Davies, Malcolm MacDonald, Mick Quinn, Andy Cole, Les Ferdinand and Alan Shearer have all become big favourites on Tyneside.
The Senegal striker, who who has netted seven goals in 12 international appearances, scored for his country in their 1-0 victory over Kenya in a warm-up game for the Nations Cup, which gets under way in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon on Saturday.
"I would like to thank everybody for their welcome, and for inviting me to sign for the club," he added.
"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."
PAPISS CISSE AT-A-GLANCE
- 2003 Begins career with hometown club Douanes Dakar
- 2004 Joins French side Metz
- 2005 Moves to Cherbourg on loan
- 2006 Returns to Metz and helps them to Ligue 2 title
- 2008 Joins Ligue 2 side Chateauroux on loan
- 2009 Joins Freiburg for around £1.3m
- 2011 Finishes as second top scorer behind Mario Gomez with 22 goals, eclipsing Tony Yeboah as the highest scoring African player in a single Bundesliga season
Although Cisse was valued at around £14m in the summer, it is thought Newcastle paid closer to £10m in their quest for a long-term successor to Andy Carroll, who joined Liverpool for approximately £35m in the 2011 January transfer window.
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew admitted: "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 team-mate 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."
Newcastle 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."