MIKE Ashley has indicated that he will back Alan Pardew in the transfer window, with Marseille’s Loic Remy heading a crop of striker targets that Newcastle have enquired about.
Pardew said yesterday that he would look to add one player in the New Year – an understandably conservative statement from the United boss, who will not want to over-inflate expectations in January.
But The Journal understands that the club’s ideal scenario is to recruit at least one defender and a striker in the New Year, while moving several fringe players out of the club.
Defensively, United are also considering moving Davide Santon to right-back – an option that was first mooted in the summer but aborted after Danny Simpson’s expected departure did not materialise.
It is the club’s apparent desire to bring in attacking reinforcements which is surprising, though.
They tried to land Luuk de Jong in the summer and there is clearly a feeling at Newcastle that they need another forward to put pressure on their existing players.
Remy is one of the club’s priority targets but they have other striker options. There were suggestions yesterday that meetings will take place in the near future between Marseille officials and their Tyneside counterparts, who have met recently to discuss forthcoming business.
A fee of 14million has been mooted for the France international.
But it will be interesting to see if the interest in Remy has an impact on negotiations with Demba Ba, who has angered the club with his unsanctioned interview with Canal+ over the weekend.
The striker can expect a dressing down this week from Pardew, especially considering he flouted a club rule that they must be notified of all interviews conducted through unofficial channels.
Aware that there would be increased interest from international media because of their Continental recruitment policy, the club made sure to insert that particular rule as they imported players from France two years ago.
It was particularly surprising that the influential Ba went on the record to call Arsenal an “attractive option” because he had never indicated to United any desire to leave – despite the club being fully aware that representatives were attempting to smoke out interest in the player.
Regardless, there is another option in Remy, who has been of long-term interest to Newcastle.
The player hardly played down the rumours when questioned by the French media yesterday.
“Newcastle are a very good team. They’re a big club with good players, very good fans and a nice stadium that’s always full,” he said.
“The window opens in January, and there’ll be speculation from now until the window closes – if I have to leave then all parties must be happy. I have a contract so let’s wait and see.”
Pardew is preparing for a huge game against QPR on Saturday but knows that the transfer window is in everyone’s thoughts, with just 13 days until it swings open.
He admitted yesterday that January is a tough window to do business in, and indicated that his best hope was not to lose anyone and to bring one player in.
“It is a difficult window but I think we would like to get – definitely – one player in and not lose anybody,” he said.
“It could be that we lose a player, you never know. Obviously I lost Andy Carroll in a situation that wasn’t too dissimilar to what I’m in now two years ago, maybe it was a bit better.
“But if that is the case then we need two players, and if we lose two then we need three.”