Pardew makes no transfer progress
NEWCASTLE UNITED boss Alan Pardew insists he is doing all he can to bring new players to the club, but admits it is unlikely any deals will be completed in time for tomorrow's Wear-Tyne derby. Pardew hoped to have a new striker and left-back available for the lunchtime kick-off with Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, but the Magpies boss has again been left frustrated in the transfer market. Bids have been lodged for PSV Eindhoven left-back Erik Pieters and Sochaux forward Modibo Maiga, but both clubs are holding out for big fees with talks still on-going. It seems the left-back slot vacated by Jose Enrique last week is proving the most difficult gap to fill. Yesterday, a PSV official was quoted as saying the club had had no contact with the Magpies since last weekend after they had demanded £6 m for Pieters. But while there is still interest in the player, Pardew is looking at other targets before making a final decision with Aly Cissokho and Wayne Bridge both being considered. With clubs aware Newcastle are in the market, prices are inevitably being hiked up, but Pardew remains confident he will make a breakthrough soon. He said: The left-back situation, it's a week down the line and the plan we had went straight into action, but of course everybody knows we need a left-back and it's being made difficult not by us, but by other clubs. We have to get over that. We have to make sure we reach an agreement with the other club that is right for them and right for us. That's where we are really. It could be that something gets done before the game, but I don't think I'd include him even if we did to be honest, because I think this game is something you need to know about and you need to be prepared for and we've done a lot of work on it. There's a lot of stuff come out about him (Maiga) being on strike and stuff and we can't condone that, but in terms of us we have put a bid in for the player. He's a player we want to bring to the club, otherwise we wouldn't have done that. I think negotiations are still ongoing. I can only reassure people that not only have we tried to secure players, but we're trying to secure a couple of players we have in the building. That process is very very important as well. We've still got two more to come. And it all needs to gel. It's a bit like at Sunderland is it ten players they've got Steve Bruce cannot, cannot hand on heart, say that it going to be right and gel yet. He can't. And nor can I until such time as the window's shut and we're seven games in and you can ask me that question and I can answer it with a more detailed response. I don't think I need to nudge Mike (Ashley). I think he's very much aware of that. I don't think I need to nudge him any more I've nudged him enough! One player Pardew will have ready to face the Black Cats is Joey Barton. He is likely to get a frosty reception on Wearside in light of the controversy that has surrounded him in recent weeks, but Pardew is confident the midfielder will be able to deal with being targeted. In a gameplan, Joey would get a mention, if I'm honest, so the referee needs to make sure he referees the game from a completely neutral point of view, Pardew said. Joey has been in the press a fair bit this week more than Joey would have liked and more than I would have liked but the other thing they'll be focussing on, of course, is that he's a very very good player and they'll need to stop him. Probably that's more of a worry for Steve, I should think. But I've got no qualms about throwing Joey in there, no doubt at all. I don't need to tell Joey. Joey will tell me probably. Today, maybe tomorrow, tomorrow evening and Saturday he'll tell me they'll target me today, gaffer'. And I mean that in the nicest possible way, I might add. I'm sure Cattermole will be saying the same for them. He's a fiery character. Him and Joey are going to be in the same sort of area and it'll be a feature of the game. Steve Harper will take his place on the bench tomorrow, despite the signing of Rob Elliot from Charlton Athletic.
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