Alan Pardew believes Newcastle United will have made a breakthrough in their striker hunt by the time they return to Glasgow next week – and has refused to rule out returning to the Bafetimbi Gomis deal.
United are due to talk to Darren Bent’s advisers this week and are now understood to be close to brokering a loan move for QPR striker Loic Remy. But Lyon’s Gomis remains a priority target and Pardew said the club were still “exploring all options”.
Pardew spoke to Joe Kinnear on Monday and said that the “feeling” he got is that the club will reach a successful conclusion in their forward hunt soon.
“I’m hoping something happens before Rangers. I think that’s a realistic deadline for my team in the background to hopefully get something done,” he said.
“You can only be as confident as the feeling that you’re getting, and the feeling I’m getting at the moment is we’re pursuing and at the end of the day we’ll get something.”
Asked specifically about Gomis – who has told reporters in France that he has reached an agreement on wages, contradicting Lyon owner Jean-Michel
Aulas’ assertion that his contract demands were the problem with the deal – Pardew refused to rule it out.
The club have left their offer on their table but have frozen talks with the French club.
He said: “All I would say is that we’re keeping our options open regarding strikers because we can only do a deal that’s right. If a deal’s right we’ll do it, if a deal’s not right we won’t do it.”
United supporters will be pleased to see the return of Papiss Cisse in a Newcastle shirt, with the striker scoring the opener last night.
The striker’s fitness pleased Pardew, who believes the forward is looking better than he would have expected.
He said: “There’s been no problem with Papiss. I’m actually surprised his fitness levels are so good. It was a fabulous goal – on another night he could have had a hat-trick. So could Dan Gosling.
“Papiss linked up well with Sammy and the three midfield players – Dan and Cheicky. He was getting opportunity after opportunity, and when you’ve got two wide players who affected the game like Sammy and Hatem did, it makes the pitch very big. Although they tried to press us, they just couldn’t live with us.”
United’s performance was again slick against limited opposition last night.
Pardew said: “We are really working on our retention of the ball, and our passing was crisp. We made some great movement and scored two fabulous goals - we probably could have had more. But we have to be happy with the clean sheet and two goals.
United have allowed Mehdi Abeid to leave on a season-long loan to Panathinaikos as they continue to clear out their fringe players.