ALAN Pardew’s job at Newcastle United is safe – despite the Magpies’ poor season.
Owner Mike Ashley conducted an exhaustive inquest into the Tynesiders’ disappointing Premier League campaign this week.
And Pardew, now the second-longest serving top-flight manager, faced a tough questioning.
But it seems Ashley got the answers he wanted from the 51-year-old, who has come under fire from frustrated supporters in recent weeks.
There had been claims that Pardew was set to pay the price for the club’s league form and be dismissed.
But it is understood that Ashley will keep faith with Pardew, whose side finished 16th after a season-long battle against relegation.
Newcastle have made no public comment on the speculation over the future of Pardew, who signed an eight-year contract last September.
However, it seems Ashley, Pardew and managing director Derek Llambias have plotted a way forward for the club.
Newcastle will now press on with the club’s planned summer recruitment ahead of what they hope will be a renewed challenge for a top-six place.
Pardew is keen to bring “two or three” players to St James’s Park to strengthen a squad which was found wanting last season in the face of an injury crisis.
The run of injuries, a lack of squad depth and the toll taken by the run to the Europa League quarter-finals were blamed by Pardew for Newcastle’s domestic form.
A new striker is a priority for Pardew, who lost leading scorer Demba Ba to Chelsea in January.
It is not clear whether Newcastle will bid for former striker Andy Carroll, despite Pardew indicating last week that he would like to see him back at St James’s.
Liverpool have accepted a £15million bid for Carroll from West Ham, where the 24-year-old spent this season on loan.
It is understood Carroll is stalling on a move – leaving the door open for his old club to make a bid.
Carroll’s sizeable Anfield wages would be a problem for the club, though its highest-earner, captain Fabricio Coloccini, could leave this summer, freeing up a chunk of the wage bill.
And Newcastle other targets in mind, though the club would face fierce competition for St Etienne’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Carroll, meanwhile, could be out until August with the heel injury – sustained in an awkward fall in West Ham’s weekend win over Reading –m which has forced him to miss England’s two forthcoming friendlies. No surgery is required, but the striker could be out for at least three months.