Some suggest Alan Pardew was being patronizing giving Steve Harper the number one jersey ... then putting him third behind Tim Krul and Fraser Forster for the Arsenal game. Now Pardew has given Harper assurances he still has a part to play at Newcastle United – despite the imminent arrival of Rob Elliot. I'm sure Harper is no fool, and he knows he should be doing what Shay Given has just done at Villa Park ... "get his arse out of Dodge City"! Given is a similar age, but he has cut his losses at Man City and signed a lengthy deal at Aston Villa, where he will stay until he is 41 ... all for the sake of first team football. Harper should take note, and get on his bike. The Magpies are closing in on the signing of Charlton Athletic goalkeeper Rob Elliot today. And should the proposed deal be completed, Pardew would automatically put Elliot behind Krul in the pecking order. Forster yesterday returned to Parkhead for another season, leaving Harper to compete with Krul and 25-year-old Elliot, should he sign. Elliot could arrive on Tyneside this week to complete formalities ahead of Saturday’s derby against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. Greenwich-born Elliot – who has entered the last year of his contract – has made almost 100 league appearances for Charlton. The move will surprise supporters – but we reported last week Pardew was unimressed with Forster in pre-season. Harper – United’s longest-serving player – has two years left on his contract. He joined United in 1993 from non-league Seaham Red Star – and has made 190 appearances for the club since making his debut at home to Wimbledon in late 1998 under Ruud Gullit ... which is not that many considering he has been at the club 18 years ... an average of nine games a season.