Alan Pardew has put Newcastle United’s in-form defence on red alert for the threat of Shane Long, a player he admits he has tried to sign for the Magpies.
United have been linked with a move for the striker on and off for the past three years and Pardew admits there has been credibility in those reports – although he admits there is little chance of him moving to Tyneside now.
The West Brom forward scored a sublime goal against Aston Villa on Monday and is part of an attack that can cause problems for Newcastle in tonight’s live TV game.
He said: “He’s a striker I’ve been interested in.
“I’ve always been well aware of him through my Reading connections and twice I have tried to bring him to this club.
“He’s in good form right now. He’s a dangerous player, really works hard and he has a flair about his game. F
“For us, it is very importantwe do not let him have an opportunity, particularly, our back four dwelling on the ball because he really does work you hard with or without the ball.”
Despite the high regard in which Pardew holds Long, he will not be joining Newcastle in January.
Pardew added: “I think he will get sorted out at West Brom.
“In the past, we have not been really close (to signing him) but there was genuine interest.
“He was always in and around the players we talked about bringing in here.”