JOE KINNEAR has broken his silence on Newcastle United’s transfer market efforts – and insists that the Magpies are close to a breakthrough.
Talks are ongoing over deals for strikers Loic Remy, Bafetimbi Gomis and Darren Bent.
And controversial director of football Kinnear is hopeful there could be one or more arrivals this week.
Newcastle are in advanced discussions with QPR over a £2million season-long loan deal for Remy.
Asked about Remy, Kinnear said: “I would like to think we are very, very close to agreeing that.
“I would think maybe Monday or Tuesday we’ll be a position to say yea or nay, but I’m very happy about how that deal is going at the moment.”
The Tynesiders have also had £7m bid accepted by Lyon for Gomis, though there are other teams interested in signing the France international.
With a salary agreed with Gomis, the sticking point is the agents’ fees and commissions, and Lyon owner Jean-Michel Aulas said over the weekend that it could be another week before the proposed deal is completed.
There have also been talks over out-of-favour Aston Villa forward Bent, though Newcastle have not submitted an offer for the 29-year-old ex-Sunderland man, who is wanted by Fulham.
However, a deal seems unlikely given Newcastle’s unwillingness to pay a sizeable fee for Bent. His high wage at Villa Park is another problem.
Newcastle are the only Premier League club yet to make a signing, and fans’ frustrations have been directed at Kinnear.
Kinnear, however, is adamant he is doing all he can, and that manager Alan Pardew is being kept fully informed of developments in the transfer market.
“I’m well aware that everyone is concerned (about the lack of transfers) and rightly so, but I’m not dragging my heels in any manner,” he added. “I’m being sensible about the budget I have got and am going to spend it as wisely as I can – I keep Alan well informed and have regular meetings.
“We sit down on a regular basis and talk about the type of players we want, the best type of players for the Newcastle fans.”
Kinnear – who reports directly to owner Mike Ashley – claims the “goalposts have been moved” during discussions.
Lyon owner Jean-Michel Aulas has also gone public at each stage of the discussions.
“We are fighting hard,” Kinnear said. “There are two or three of us (clubs) all seemingly to be wrapped around the same players, and, as I have said to Mike, it’s a serious battle that we need to win. We’re very close to achieving that.
“There are always extra add-ons, always an extra thing and always an extra problem, and then there’s always the problem of competition from other teams.
“Whatever I have offered more or less goes public, and of course that alerts other people that are interested. They tweak it and add a little bit more and we are in that sort of war at the moment.
“I’m waiting for a nod, on which the goalposts have moved on numerous occasions, to bring in a couple of strikers.”
Kinnear also insisted Newcastle have back-up options identified in case they are not successful in signing their first-choice targets.