Newcastle prepare for frenetic transfer activity

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The Independent Football

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is preparing for tense conclusion to the summer transfer window after finding his club embroiled in a series of rows.

The Magpies will spend the next week or so attempting to finally land the left-back and the striker they want before next Wednesday's deadline, with Sochaux having referred their pursuit of Modibo Maiga to FIFA after Charlton fired a similar warning shot across their bows by contacting the Barclays Premier League over their interest in keeper Rob Elliot.

Pardew was playing a straight bat when asked about the French's club's complaint this afternoon.

He said: "I can't tell you anything about that. My brief is to highlight players I think would take the club forward, and the club's job is to get it over the line.

"I am not involved in that."

There was no official comment from the club either after Sochaux released a statement of their official website,, confirming their action with Mali striker Maiga having been conspicuous by his absence from their squad since the Magpies' interest in him became known.

It said: "On Monday August 22, 2011, FC Sochaux-Montbeliard sent a referral to FIFA with the aim of obtaining (assurances) on the part of Newcastle United that they will stop their contacts with Modibo Maiga, who is under contract with FCSM until 2014.

"This (contact) is in violation of Article 18 of the current international regulations.

"This measure comes after Sochaux demanded without success, in an official manner and on two occasions, that the English club put a stop to their actions."

The development is a further complication for Pardew, who has been firmly linked with PSV Eindhoven full-back Erik Pieters and Lyon counterpart Aly Cissokho, and a loan move for Manchester City's Wayne Bridge, in recent weeks as well as Maiga and a series of other frontmen.

However, he remains hopeful that the club's strategy will eventually pay off.

He said: "You need to have some sort of strategic planning about what you are doing and some sort or game plan, and hopefully we are going to call that right.

"But you can get something out of the woodwork which throws it into disarray and you need Plan B and then you need Plan C.

"We are hoping we stick to Plan A, but we will see."

The Magpies' hierarchy is in no mood to be held to ransom over transfers, but will not need reminding of their ultimately unsuccessful efforts to find a replacement for Andy Carroll in January after accepting a final day £35million offer for the striker.

Asked if the chase could go to the very end of the window, Pardew said: "It depends what accelerates the process.

"There are one or two big moves which could happen - I don't think they are going to happen last minute because the other clubs will want to do some business too.

"But of course by our own example, it can happen. We would like to do our business before then, but if it goes to that time, that's the time it will go to."

Meanwhile, midfielder Joey Barton's continued presence on Tyneside remains a matter for debate amid speculation that Stoke and QPR could be among his suitors with the player in the final year of his contract.

However, Pardew has laughed off former skipper Kevin Nolan's suggestion that Barton joins him at West Ham.

Pardew said: "Kevin is Joey's friend, so he is going to say that. I wish Kevin and West Ham all the best, but at the moment, Joey is a Newcastle player."

Barton played his part in Saturday's morale-boosting win at derby rivals Sunderland, which will send the Magpies into Thursday night's Carling Cup clash with Scunthorpe in positive mood.

Pardew said: "We have started the season with a smile on our faces after beating our local rivals, and that's what we take to Scunthorpe."