Newcastle reveal approach for new player

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew was today awaiting the outcome of an approach for his second January transfer target.

Pardew was giving nothing away about the men in his sights after holding a strategy meeting with managing director Derek Llambias on Tuesday.

However, he did confirm that the Magpies have registered their interest in a player 24 hours after completing a permanent move for French winger Hatem Ben Arfa, and are now keeping their fingers crossed.

Pardew said: "We have got an agenda that we are trying to follow through. We have a target that may work to another target, it depends, really.

"But we have made an enquiry to a club today and we are waiting to hear back from them."

Pardew has made no secret of the fact that he was to strengthen the supply lines to his strikers during the winter window, and is understood to have an interest in Tottenham winger David Bentley among others.

Asked if the Spurs man is the type of player for which he is looking, he replied: "He is, I guess, the type.

"I don't think you need to be a genius to know that crosses will be a big part for us, and a player who can cross the ball with that accuracy would be an important player for us to add to the squad."

Pardew had also been buoyed by confirmation from Llambias and owner Mike Ashley that striker Andy Carroll will not be leaving St James' this month, with Spurs among his admirers.

He said: "It's important and it is good that Mike Ashley and Derek have made that commitment to say he is not for sale.

"We won't sell anyone that we don't feel needs to move on, and hopefully we can add to the squad."

Carroll, of course, is currently recovering from a thigh injury, and he has been joined on the sidelines by stand-in Shola Ameobi after he turned an ankle in training.

That opened the door for forgotten man Leon Best ahead of last night's Barclays Premier League clash with West Ham, and his response was explosive as he plundered a hat-trick in a 5-0 rout.

However, the 24-year-old is now also a doubt for Saturday's FA Cup trip to Stevenage after coming off early with a heel problem.

Pardew said: "Unfortunately, it looks like he's struggling for Saturday. He came off early in the game because of his heel, and that looks problematic."

That would come as a huge blow to Best, who was thrilled to have made the most of his big chance.

He said: "It was a win we needed, and the win was very important, but to mark my first start for Newcastle with a hat-trick, I'm just over the moon. It's the best thing that could have happened for me.

"I always knew I would score when I played. It's just a matter of luck with football, and I showed it last night."

Pardew will hope Best's injury clears up for the weekend, and he is optimistic that Steven Taylor and Cheik Tiote, who both limped out of last night's game with hamstring strains, will also be fit.

However, goalkeeper Steve Harper could be left out with his wife heavily pregnant as Tim Krul gets another chance.

Pardew said: "It worries me because it's the end of a cycle of games that has been too much.

"[Sunderland boss] Steve Bruce mentioned it - these elite athletes shouldn't be going through this sort of structure.

"This game [at Stevenage] is our third in a week and our fifth in 13 days, and yet later on in the programme, it opens up a little bit and you have lots of rest."

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