Pardew facing game of deal or no deal with Barton and Enrique
AFTER losing Andy Carroll to Liverpool on Monday, Alan Pardew is still hopeful of agreeing new, long-term deals to keep Joey Barton and Jose Enrique at the club. Barton has been in negotiations with the Magpies for some time after he indicated he would be willing to take a pay-cut to sign a deal which would keep him on Tyneside for the rest of his career. And Newcastle have been just as keen to tie the midfielder down after his impressive form this season has alerted several potential suitors in the Premier League. The 28-year-old has had a turbulent time since arriving at St James' Park, but the former Manchester City man has become a key player for the Magpies as they look to maintain their top-flight status. Another player Newcastle are hoping to tie down is leftback Enrique, who has also been a strong performer this season and, like Barton, his form has attracted interest. That said, Pardew remains confident Barton will sign a new deal next week but admits an agreement with Enrique isn't on the cards yet. I have nothing concrete to report. We are obviously aware of their contract situations and will focus on those, the manager revealed. I am pretty confident that Joey's will get sorted out next week. There was a little bit going on this week which distracted us. I think it is fairly straightforward (with Enrique). Jose has expressed that once we are safe in the division, he would like to sit down with us. We are fine with that. That's his option of course. There are always two options. I was disappointed with the goal (against Fulham) because wow, what a performance he put in on that pitch. If he can stay in that form, we have a fantastic player. One player Newcastle already have tied down longterm is Hatem Ben Arfa and Pardew revealed he has called the Frenchman back to the club after the midfielder was recovering from his double broken leg in France. The tricky playmaker made a huge impression in his first few games and Pardew is keen to bring the former Marseille man back to Tyneside to complete his recovery. I was just talking to his agent because I need him over here, I want to get him back, Pardew said. He has been having a lot of his treatment at Clarefontein so I want to get him in and around the group because we are going to need him in the March, April and May period. He feels good, progress reports are very good. He is not doing full running yet. What we need for all of us is that he is doing well, he is here and gets embedded into the group because obviously when you are away, you are not. It is about being together, we are all in this together whether you are injured or not. I want to see a bit more of him out on that training ground. Newcastle welcome Arsene Wenger's title-chasing Arsenal to St James' Park this afternoon but they will be without Shola Ameobi, who will see a specialist about his fractured cheekbone next week. Fabricio Coloccini is also a doubt after suffering a hamstring strain and if he can't make it, Sol Campbell could deputise against his former club. In the first fixture earlier in the season, it was Carroll's goal that earned the Magpies three points, but as they come to terms with life without their prize asset Pardew admits he may have to change his options against the Gunners. I think it is fairly evident that with what I have available, I have to change our game-plan, he said. Kevin Nolan has scored ten goals so we might have to utilise him a bit more. Certainly from my point of view, not having a six foot three striker available means we have to come up with a plan to get the best out of Leon Best, Nile Ranger and Peter Lovenkrands, or whoever. We are conscious of that and our style will change from Saturday.
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