Alan Pardew says Newcastle United are prepared to make a “key signing” in January - if the price is right.
Pardew saw his team maintain their momentum heading into the festive programme by swatting away Crystal Palace to earn their third away win in four games and achieve the benchmark tally of 30 points before Christmas.
It was another convincing performance from a Newcastle team who look very comfortable in their own skin at the moment, but January always brings a dash of intrigue at a club where major players have been bought and sold in the New Year.
While the spectre of an Andy Carroll-style sale of Yohan Cabaye can never be ruled out, Pardew claims Newcastle are more interested in reprising the purchase of Papiss Cisse or the Gallic influx of last year which is now bearing fruit. He says meetings have taken place and reckons Joe Kinnear’s input may – this time at least – have an effect.
He said: “We haven’t really talked too much about the finance available. We’ve talked about players and where we’re at.
“We’re making sure we don’t miss what could be a key signing. If you look at the two January windows we’ve done good business. We took Papiss two years ago which pushed us on and last year in an emergency we took four or five whch we didn’t really want to do. They’ve still worked out well.
“Graham Carr and Joe (Kinnear) and myself and the owner are very much on the ball with the January window coming up.”
Pressed on how the club’s curious transfer politics actually play out in practice, Pardew added: “We sit down, we discuss and we make sure we make the right decision for the club.
“The finance comes out, of course, but also a selection of what I need and with Joe’s knowledge of football he knows the manager needs certain things.
“That has helped. I don’t really want to say much more on that but I think that’s a little insight for you.”
United’s boss was asked what Newcastle could achieve and dodged talk of the top five. He did focus minds on the visit of Arsenal on December 29, however.
He said: “The type of manager I am, I’ve always been super positive with my teams.
“I had to build their ego in terms of what they can achieve.
“You look at our dressing room before the game – we had a really good psychology for this game in terms of we knew what was going to happen.
“It was a swirly wind, a rainy pitch – could we keep it, could we retain possession?
“We did that brilliantly and you need great confidence to do that. We also went to Manchester United and played a different game and gained our reward.
“This team is becoming a team whch can handle different platforms and therefore as a manager it gives you great confidence.
“We have great collective confidence.
“If we can beat Stoke the Arsenal game will be really, really interesting for a lot of people.”
Cheick Tiote was outstanding again in Newcastle’s midfield and thinks United should aim to replicate their performance of 2012.
The Ivory Coast international said: “Definitely. Last year we struggled.
“This year is much much better. When you look at the table I think we have a chance to finish in the top five.
“However, we have to do the same things, try to win every game.
“If we do that we have the chance to be in the top five.”
Tiote will miss Boxing Day and the visit of Stoke after picking up a fifth booking.
He added: “I’m really disappointed.
“I’m happy also it’s only one week so I won’t have to wait for a long time to come back and play again.
“I expect my colleagues to win the next game.”