Alan Pardew last night insisted he had not given up signing Loic Remy on a permanent deal as he attempted to quell fears Newcastle United won’t spend serious money this summer.
The manager knows the supporters remain unconvinced their club will do anywhere close to enough business during the next transfer window.
Only Remy and Luuk de Jong have arrived in the two previous windows, both on loan, and last week’s statement from recently-appointed managing-director Lee Charnley that “one or two” signings would be made over a calendar year did little to settle the nerves.
To most observers, Pardew would need to bring between five and ten players, depending on who stays and goes, just to keep the team in the top ten of the Premier League.
Getting Remy tied to a long-term contract would be a huge statement of intent.
Not only would it land Newcastle a top-class striker, one who has been targeted by Champions League clubs, it would win back at least some trust among the supporters.
The 27-year-old Frenchman is back in the squad for tomorrow’s home match with Swansea, a fixture his manager believes does not have to be his penultimate game at St James’ Park.
Pardew said: “It’s pleasing to have Remy in and around training again and Mathieu Debuchy as well because he is an important player in terms of his personality as well as his playing ability.
“I’m on a pretty even keel about Remy’s future. I think we have a chance of keeping him and because I am a positive person I would like to think it is a good chance.
“I just think he has had a good year here. Sometimes you can be a good fit at a club and he is a good fit here. He fits in well and he wears that No9 shirt and it wears well on him.”
Newcastle fans are desperate to see the club match their own ambitions, but few believe that will happen under the current strategy. Pardew (pictured left), however, hinted things were happening behind the scenes and fans could be in for a pleasant surprise.
He added: “There is uncertainty among the fans about our intentions in the summer and perhaps I know a little bit more than them.
“I can feel a little bit more confident about it. Some fans may fear we are not going to move forward but I think we will.
“We have put ourselves in a good position in terms of transfer preparation. We must make sure we strengthen well in the summer and we are not under any illusions about that.
“I’m not going to put a figure on how many are coming in but we are going to be active. Should they be excited? Hopefully. The targets we have are buoying me.”
A picture appeared on the internet yesterday, apparently of Hatem Ben Arfa at Newcastle Airport about to get on a plane, but his chances of playing in this match were rated as “50/50” by Pardew.