ALAN PARDEW returned to his desk at Newcastle today – confident he can complete his emaining transfer business.
Newcastle’s only acquisition so far is the low-key signing of midfielder Romain Amalfitano, who joined from Reims on a free transfer, while Danny Guthrie, Leon Best, Peter Lovenkrands and Alan Smith have all left.
However, the Magpies are confident of a breakthrough in the coming days, with work ongoing to bring in Lille’s Mathieu Debuchy, and bids on the table for other players, among them FC Twente striker Luuk de Jong.
“We’re working on a few things,” Pardew said.
“I know this time last year we’d brought in a couple of players (Demba Ba and Yohan Cabaye), but we’re very much in the market at the moment.
“We’re planning to bring in a couple of players, for sure.”
Twente boss Steve McClaren has told Newcastle to make Twente an offer they “cannot refuse” – or forget about signing de Jong. Newcastle made a take-it-or-leave-it offer, understood to be around £10million, for him over the weekend.
However, the Dutch club are holding out for more cash amid interest Borussia Monchengladbach. “We do not have to sell and, football being football, everybody has his price,” McClaren said.
“For Luuk de Jong to leave this club, it will have to be a very good offer, one that we cannot refuse, and at the moment no-one has given us that yet.”
Pardew is also looking to strengthen the club’s development squad, with teenage Coventry midfielder Gael Bigirimana interesting Newcastle.
Pardew’s players have undergone fitness tests in small groups over the past three days ahead of the first day proper of pre-season training, with only those who have been on international duty absent. Pardew said: “We’ve got to make sure we’re ready for Tottenham, and the sports science team are in charge of that.
“Me and John Carver have to make sure the players, tactically and technically, know what we’re doing this season.”