Newcastle United Transfer News 2011: Modibo Maiga Deal On Hold as Max Gradel Joins St Etienne

LEEDS UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 19: Max Gradel of Leeds United hurdles Wojciech Szczesny of Arsenal during the FA Cup sponsored by E.On Third Round Replay match between Leeds United and Arsenal at Elland Road on January 19 2011 in Leeds England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Max Gradel of Leeds United signed with St Etienne on Tuesday, casting doubt on Modibo Maiga's proposed move to Newcastle from Sochaux.  Maiga, a 23 year-old striker, had refused to play for Les Lionceaux in hopes of forcing the move through, then, in their most recent contest, played as a compromise with chairman Alexander Lacombe.  Lacombe promised to let him go if a suitable replacement could be found, but those hopes took a hit with the news of Gradel's move.  Gradel was Sochaux's number one target, and it would not appear that they have too many other irons in the fire.

That means, of course, that Newcastle will probably have to turn their own attention elsewhere.  The striker position has been a position of need ever since Andy Carroll left on the last day of the January transfer window, and now the Magpies have just one day left in this transfer window to fill it.

Since Maiga appears to be off the table and Newcastle had a £10 million bid for Papiss Demba Cisse of Freiburg rejected Tuesday, the biggest name out there appears to be Federico Macheda, who is reportedly available from Manchester United on loan.  The prospects for the last day of the window don't appear too bright, but then again, the majority of this summer's signings have come out of nowhere.

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