NEWCASTLE boss Alan Pardew has wished outgoing captain Kevin Nolan all the best as he closes in on a number of signings he believes will appease fans left reeling by the departure of the club’s talisman.
Nolan was set to seal a shock move to West Ham United today in a £4m deal after the club decided to cash in on last season’s top scorer.
The transfer has divided opinion among the Toon Army, but Pardew remains confident that the players he is hoping to bring in will help kick the club on to a higher level.
United expect to tie up at least one deal within the next 48 hours, with moves for Swansea left-back Neil Taylor and striker Demba Ba at an advanced stage. And they hope to advance talks with Swiss midfielder Tranquillo Barnetta and St Etienne’s Blaise Matuidi over the next couple of weeks.
It will be a busy time for Pardew, but he remains confident that Newcastle will start the new season stronger than they finished the last campaign – even allowing for Nolan’s exit.
Pardew said: “We are looking to complete on a number of deals over the next month or so, and I am sure with the quality of signings I anticipate coming into the club, we should look forward to exciting times in the upcoming season as we look to establish the club as a genuine force in the top half of the Premier League.”
Newcastle rejected a £3m West Ham bid for Nolan, but the Upton Park outfit returned with an improved offer which was accepted yesterday, with the player travelling down to London for a medical.
Nolan is expected to put pen to paper today on a five-year deal which will reunite him with Sam Allardyce, his boss at Bolton, and Pardew – a former West Ham manager himself – has wished the player all the best while thanking him for his efforts at Newcastle over the last couple of years.
“I am aware that the club made Kevin a good offer to stay but could not agree over the length of the contract offered,” said Pardew.
“This obviously happens in football and everybody needs to move on. I would like to thank Kevin for his sterling efforts as a player and captain of this club, especially since I took over last season. He displayed admirable leadership qualities and I wish him every success at West Ham. It’s a great club and I’m sure he will thrive there.”