LONDON, England (AFP) – Newcastle finally made their first significant signing since the end of last season as France striker Loic Remy joined the Premier League club on a season-long loan from QPR.
Magpies director of football Joe Kinnear had been under fire for his failure to land any new players since his controversial appointment in June, but he secured Remy's services after several days of negotiations with the player and his Championship club.
Kinnear's only other capture was teenager Olivier Kemen from French side Metz, meaning before the Remy deal Newcastle were the only top-flight team without a major signing during the close-season.
Remy, who almost joined Newcastle in January from Marseille before sealing a move to Loftus Road, scored six goals in 14 appearances for QPR last season, but that wasn't enough to prevent Harry Redknapp's team being relegated from the Premier League.
The 26-year-old made it clear he was keen to avoid playing in the second tier with the World Cup looming at the end of this season and he got his wish after Newcastle made their approach.
"I'm very happy to be a Newcastle player. It will be a huge honour to play for such a big club," Remy told Newcastle's website.
"I was very flattered by the club's interest in me back in January and also very happy that they showed interest in me again this summer.
"The Premier League is the best league in the world and that's where I want to play.
"I am very motivated this year to get into the World Cup squad for my country. I know in order to do that I need to have a big season and a successful campaign with Newcastle United.
"I am focused on helping the team achieve success this season and scoring as many goals as I can."
Kinnear, whose appointment sparked claims that owner Mike Ashley was trying to undermine manager Alan Pardew, believes Remy will prove a major coup for Newcastle, who have struggling for goals since the January departure of Demba Ba to Chelsea.
"The need for us to strengthen up front was a priority and I have been working very hard to secure one of our targets in this position," Kinnear said.
"I'm delighted to have secured Loic for the season. Now we have him I'm sure he'll be a huge success for us; I know he's hungry for goals and is absolutely committed to helping us achieve success this season."
Pardew, whose club have also been linked with Lyon striker Bafetimbi Gomis, added: "Loic is a great player and I'm delighted that Joe has got him on board for us.
"He'll be a great addition to the squad, he gives us strength and pace up front and I'm sure he'll bring plenty of goals.
"It's a big season for Loic, like it is for all our international players ahead of the World Cup, which will only provide extra incentive for him to play at the very top of his game."