It’s no-go for Newcastle United’s Shola Ameobi

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BIRMINGHAM City have made cheeky £1.5m move for Newcastle United striker Shola Ameobi, writes Miles Starforth

But the bid was flatly turned down by the club, with manager Alan Pardew determined to add to his squad, not weaken it.

Alex McLeish is desperate to sign a striker in the transfer window, and this week tested Newcastle’s resolve to hold on to Ameobi.

However, Pardew has been impressed by 29-year-old Ameobi – who has scored seven goals this season – since taking charge at St James’s Park, and doesn’t want to sell him.

Ameobi has led the line in the absence of leading scorer Andy Carroll.

And Pardew last week said his challenge was to bring a consistency to Ameobi’s game.

Meanwhile, Pardew is confident his captain Kevin Nolan will be 100 per cent fit by the time his team takes on Fulham at Craven Cottage next Wednesday.

The 28-year-old – who has netted 10 times already this season – was laid low with a throat infection before Saturday’s home game against Tottenham Hotspur.

“Kevin’s such a big player for us,” said Pardew. “He’s the lieutenant for Newcastle United as far as I’m concerned and he doesn’t give up.

“That rubs off on the rest of the players. You have to play people like Kev.

“Even if he’s 85 per cent or 90 per cent, he still plays because he’s such a great influence. He’s one of those players.

“I like him because he’s a great organiser of the team. He was exasperated at the end because we gifted them a goal. He’s important to this group.”

Pardew is confident Carroll will be back in action next week – either against Fulham or in the home game against Arsenal a week on Saturday.

And the suspended Cheik Tiote will serve the last of his three-game ban next midweek.

Pardew said: “I want our star players back in the side.”