Newcastle maintain hunt for new striker
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew insists the cash to buy a top-class striker is still available as he attempts to push through a deal.
On the day that club owner Mike Ashley's Sports Direct business announced profits of £200.4million, the Magpies were attempting to land the frontman they believe they need before the start of the new Barclays Premier League season next month.
Paris St Germain's Mevlut Erding remains among their targets despite suggestions at the weekend that he intends to stay in France, but having previously missed out on the likes of Kevin Gameiro and Gervinho, Pardew is keen to make a significant breakthrough as soon as possible.
He said: "I don't really want to mention names, but all strikers who are available, we are keeping a close eye on.
"It's important that we keep bolstering the team as best we can.
"We have obviously been looking for a striker - we are still bidding for a striker as we speak - so we are doing all we can to get the right players for Newcastle.
"It's not easy, it's not an easy market - strikers are always the most difficult to get across the line - but we are working hard on it."
Pardew hinted last week that he hoped to recruit two attack-minded players to supplement new additions Yohan Cabaye, Demba Ba, Sylvain Marveaux and Mehdi Abeid, but admitted today that his remaining transfer activity will depend on the outcome of his striker search.
He said: "It depends, really, on the attacker that we hope to secure.
"There has been talk of the money we have got in and where has it been spent, et cetera, et cetera.
"But you would be surprised with the deals we have done, it actually amounts to a fair bit.
"We have got enough to bring a striker in of the right ilk for this football club, and that's what we need to focus on.
"When we secure that player, then we will look again."
However, it appears that Wigan's former Magpies winger Charles N'Zogbia will not be returning to St James' Park with Aston Villa heavily tipped to win his signature as they attempt to replace the Liverpool-bound Stewart Downing.
Pardew said: "I am told that Charles has got an imminent move, so I don't think that will be us."
The manager also admitted defeat in his efforts to sign Swansea full-back Neil Taylor with the 22-year-old poised to sign a new contract with the South Wales club.
Pardew said: "Neil Taylor, I think, will not come to the club. We got to a situation where we thought there was a price set in his contract and that hasn't proven to be the case.
"Therefore it started to get a little bit higher than we anticipated in terms of a fee, so I think the boy will end up staying at Swansea."
Pardew would dearly love Jose Enrique to do the same at St James' with the Spaniard's existing deal due to expire next summer, but that prospect appears no closer than it was at the end of last season.
The 49-year-old said: "We have made him an offer which is one of the best offers we have ever made a player, and he doesn't want to sign as yet, so it gives us a problem.
"He's a valuable player to us and to the club. We want to keep him and we hope he signs a new contract."
In the meantime, Pardew will prepare his players for tomorrow night's opening pre-season friendly at Darlington and their subsequent trip to the United States wondering whether it might be worth knocking on Ashley's door once again in the wake of today's figures.
He said with a smile: "It helps, doesn't it? Yes, maybe I will.
"It will make Mike feel better and if Mike feels better, it makes us all better. He's the owner of the football club.
"In a tough retail world, where figures this week have not been good, it's great that Mike has posted those."
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