Newcastle have informed Papiss Cisse that he still has a part to play at the club, despite his lack of first-team action this season.
Summer signing Aleksandar Mitrovic is Steve McClaren’s first choice to lead the Magpies line alongside Ayoze Perez, with Cisse having been banished to the bench since September.
Although Serb firebrand Mitrovic has scored just two goals so far this season, McClaren believes his partnership with Perez is the way forward for Newcastle.
Cisse almost quit St James’ Park in August and his long-term future remains in doubt.
The Senegal striker is again being linked with a move away from St James’ Park in January and admits to feeling frustrated by his current status as a regular benchwarmer.
But Newcastle are in no hurry to push him out of the door.
“We still see Papiss as having a part to play for us,” said McClaren’s No. 2 Paul Simpson.
“Unfortunately, he hasn’t had the gametime but he’s got that goalscoring instinct and his opportunity will come.”
Cisse, however, is now cast in the role as back-up to the younger Mitrovic, who is now regarded as the main man in attack.
“We’ve gone with Mitro over the last run of games and we’re trying to develop the team with him in it because he’s got a fantastic work ethic,” added Simpson.
“He still has lots in his game that he needs to improve on but his attitude is excellent.”
Newcastle host Leicester at St James’ Park in the Premier League this Saturday.