ALAN Pardew wants to make Fabricio Coloccini his second signing of the January transfer window.
After clinching a deal for Freiburg striker Papiss Demba Cissé on Tuesday, Pardew believes “one more” new signing is likely before the end of the January transfer window.
That will be a centre-back and there has been “some progress” this week – although The Journal understands there is now no interest in Aly Cissokho or Middlesbrough’s Rhys Williams and West Ham defender James Tomkins has also slipped off the radar.
Dismissing suggestions that Demba Ba’s contract would be one of his priorities, Pardew says tying Coloccini down to a new five-and-a-half-year deal would be a huge statement of intent from the club.
The defender wants to sign a new deal and Newcastle are desperate to keep him, having offered him a basic pay bump.
However, there are slight discrepancies in the way the deal is structured, which seem to have contributed to the “cooling-off” period between both parties.
Newcastle have not received an enquiry about him yet, although they know his stellar form has not gone unnoticed.
Pardew said: “The priority for me is Coloccini’s new contract and one or two others. We are focused on that because we want to keep our best players.
“He is our captain and I want to keep him – negotiations are due to restart shortly.”
Newcastle are understood to have made enquiries on a centre-back over the last few days, but Pardew does not see another £10million signing joining in January.
While saying his target is a “very, very good” defender capable of slotting into the side, he is at pains to point out United are still seeking value in the market.
They believe they got that from pouncing for Cissé on Tuesday.
Pardew added: “I don’t think we will be signing another £10million player in this window.
“Everyone we buy we want value from and we think Cissé’s signing is good value. That is why we bought him.
“He has a great age, a great CV, he has experience and pedigree already and that makes it easier for me as a coach.”
United surprised a few with the stealth and speed with which they managed to clinch the Cissé deal.
Pardew was at pains to heap praise on Mike Ashley and managing-director Derek Llambias for the way the deal was conducted.
He said: Mike and Derek deserve a lot of credit for making this signing in this window because we had to force it through a bit at the end and I am grateful to them for that.
“We just want to make a play now when things are going well because that is the time to make a move.
“I hope we can go from strength to strength. We are trying to compete with teams who are well above us financially.
“I am not talking about Man Utd, I am talking about Liverpool.”
Pardew feels United have signed both a talented footballer and an “excellent human being” in Cissé.
He added: “Of course we checked him out, we know he is a diligent footballer.
“He does his work, goes home and does his business, charity or whatever he has to do.
“He is a level-headed guy. He looks you in the eye.
“I was impressed because, although we knew all that, until you sit down with the player you only then start to understand his character and personality. He has the right tools for this job.”
United travel to bogey ground Craven Cottage without either of their Senegal strikers, but Pardew believes their midweek signing will boost the performances of others.
He said: “I have had a nice reaction in training, which is what you would expec.
“Leon Best looked a little livelier – and Shola. Competition breeds its own commitment in players.”