Pardew braced for Sissoko swoopers

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew is expecting January interest in midfielder Moussa Sissoko.

Sissoko returns from suspension for Newcastle's hosting of Chelsea in the early kick-off on Saturday, after being sent-off in their 1-0 loss at West Ham.

The France international extended Newcastle's winning streak to six matches - in all competitions - the week prior with the winner against Queens Park Rangers, before turning villain in the loss at Upton Park.

Sissoko is well-known to upcoming opponents Chelsea, having scored a stunning brace on his home debut for Newcastle against the Londoners in February 2013 - to see Pardew's men come from behind and post a 3-2 win.

And the former Southampton boss said he would not be surprised if Sissoko was pursued by, or sold to, a powerhouse club in the transfer window.

"We have not had contact from anybody else or heard from anybody else, but I take the point [he could be a target]," Pardew said, as reported by the Daily Mail.

"He is playing for a club where big clubs have come before and taken players away. I understand that so therefore, I guess, he is a player they will be looking at.

"That's all I can say because he has been terrific for us."

Sissoko, who has seven Premier League goals to his name, has improved since his blistering arrival on the St James' Park arena, according to Pardew.

"He is only a young player, 25, and he has already got 27 national caps for France. This is a guy who could win 50, 60 or 70 caps for France," added Pardew.

"He is a powerful player and he is better player now than he was back then.

"Don't get me wrong, he had a great day then [on his home debut] but he is better now and that is because he has more experience and a better knowledge of the Premier League.

"He has technically improved, without a doubt."