The start of the new season will not mean the end of Newcastle United’s recruitment drive, with the club still looking to strengthen in all outfield departments.
Doubts over the future of Cheick Tiote – linked with Arsenal – have forced the Magpies to consider holding midfielders, but they are also still on the look-out for a centre-forward and a centre-back, and will have noted Clement Grenier has gone public with his desire to leave Lyon.
Newcastle have bought six new players – Siem de Jong, Ayoze Perez, Daryl Janmaat, Remy Cabella, Emmanuel Riviere and Jack Colback – and signed Facundo Ferreyra on loan. Karl Darlow and Jamaal Lascelles have been bought from Nottingham Forest, but loaned back to the Championship side.
Attacking midfielder Grenier is a long-term target, and has told Lyon he wants a transfer this month.
“I asked at the end of the season, even before we knew the future of the coach, Remi Garde, if it were possible to go to another club to play with more continuity, but I did not say I want to go at all costs,” said the 23-year-old France international.
“I simply think that it can be the right time to try a new experience.”
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said after Sunday’s Community Shield he was still “open” to more signings. A centre-back replacement for Thomas Vermaelen is the priority, but Tiote would add the aggression his midfield has lacked for years.
Since being named one of two vice-captains Tiote has been a peripheral figure in pre-season, which he started late because of his World Cup commitments. Former Arsenal midfielder Alex Song – now at Barcelona – has been suggested as a potential replacement.
With Pardew having cooled on Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, whose wages have so far prevented a return to France, the Magpies could also do with another central defender. Liverpool’s Sebastian Coates is a loan option. The Uruguayan has made only 12 Premier League starts in three years, and was loaned to Nacional in the second half of last season.
Meanwhile, Eliaquim Mangala has admitted he will not be at peak fitness in time to face the Magpies on Sunday, having only completed his £32million transfer from Porto to Manchester City on Monday.
“I think I will need a bit of time in order to be 100%, but it is normal,” he said. “But I will work hard in order to be 100% as soon as possible.” City were without a number of first-team regulars in Sunday’s Community Shield, which they lost 3-0.
Mathieu Debuchy has described Arsenal as “another world” after leaving Newcastle this summer.
“You don’t turn down a club like Arsenal,” he said. “A lot of players would like to be in my shoes.
“This is another dimension. If you compare the training grounds for example, nothing at Lille or Newcastle can match the Arsenal one. It is another world.”