Question: Which happened first: (A) Papiss Cisse was left behind when Newcastle United went on their preseason trip to Portugal, or (B) Newcastle started displaying casual to half-serious interest in a number of strikers, many of them French?
Answer: It doesn't matter, because the best narrative is that Cisse protested shirt sponsor Wonga for religious reasons, causing Director of Football Joe Kinnear to travel backwards in time (he invented not only the means of time travel, but the very concept, then got on the phone and told Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger all about it) and link the club to a bunch of players whose names he can't pronounce on account of them not being named after food.
Look, Cisse's departure (described in every single last newspaper as "IMMINENT") looks increasingly more likely with each passing day that this Wonga mess isn't resolved. He was fined £5,000 by the club earlier this week, and if he doesn't pay it in a fortnight, he'll owe something like £11,200 at 5853% APR. I would leave, too. But this report adds nothing to the conversation. Do we really have to trot out the "He's set to move to Russia" routine just because it's Sunday? (The Mirror, who else?) There's the issue of language, first of all. If somebody is "set to" perform an action, it means that they have taken care of any prerequisite actions and are on the verge of performing whatever it is they have already prepared to do. It doesn't mean "Here's a list of people who are thinking about maybe taking steps to make this happen." It feels like I'm nitpicking, but it's misleading language.
More importantly, there's no new information here. We've already done the "Everybody in Russia wants Cisse" thing, and the only other them listed have basically disqualified themselves, the information is so old. Since the first time Dortmund were linked to Papiss, they've added Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and told Robert Lewandowski he couldn't leave. Now that that's done, they're apparently after Cisse (again), along with some unnamed French clubs. That The Mirror didn't even bother to list PSG or Monaco betrays this article as the cut-and-paste job that it is, and if they don't stop baiting Newcastle fans with their bogus stories, I'm just going to start cutting and pasting variations of this rebuttal accompanied by Jim's Failure Clown graphic.