ALAN Pardew is planning a major summer of investment in his Newcastle squad, writes MILES STARFORTH.
The weaknesses in Pardew’s playing staff have been exposed this season by a series of injuries and suspensions.
Sylvain Marveaux, Steven Taylor, Leon Best and Peter Lovenkrands will not play again this season, while Ryan Taylor and Steve Harper are in the treatment room.
And four or five new faces could arrive in the summer transfer window, but owner Mike Ashley is not about to loosen the financial straightjacket which has seen the balance sheet improve dramatically over the past 12 months – they lost £3.9m in the 2010/11 financial year.
However, Pardew will be given money to spend, and the cash saved from the summer exit of high-earner Alan Smith – and the other anticipated departures – will be reinvested in a squad which could have to cope with a gruelling Europa League campaign, with Newcastle sixth in the Premier League with 10 games left to play.
Peter Lovenkrands’s contract is also up at the end of the season, and the only question is whether a higher-profile player leaves, though the contracts signed last week by Fabricio Coloccini and Tim Krul have safeguarded their futures.
The club will listen to offers for Nile Ranger, who is back in training after recovering from a foot injury.
Dan Gosling’s future is also unclear, the midfielder having failed to break into Pardew’s team this season.
Managing director Derek Llambias admitted last week that a sizeable offer for midfielder Cheik Tiote – who is being tracked by Chelsea – would have to be considered by the club’s hierarchy.
Llambias has also pledged that any proceeds from such a sale would be reinvested in the squad.
Pardew needs to strengthen his defence, and Ajax’s Jan Vertonghen and Twente’s Douglas are understood to be among his potential targets.
Arsenal are also keen on Vertonghen, and Ajaz have earmarked Douglas as a possible replacement.
Vertonghen said: “My agent knows what clubs I’m willing to go to. Arsenal are obviously one of them. Ajax are busy trying to find solutions to replace me.”
Meanwhile, Newcastle defender James Perch has labelled Robin van Persie “out of order” in his simmering row with Magpie keeper Tim Krul in Monday’s 2-1 defeat.
Perch said: “He was having a go at Tim for taking his time, but we’re away at Arsenal, and we don’t have to play the way he wants. We play the way we want. He has let himself down the way he acted after they scored the goal.
“When you think of the top players in the world, you class him up there, but I think he’s let himself down there.”