Newcastle United: Pardew glad to hold onto stars

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has revealed the club has had to fend off interest in some of its biggest names as he prepares to make his own move in the transfer market.

Midfielder Joey Barton is currently in talks over an extended stay on Tyneside after the Magpies clinched new deals with the likes of Andy Carroll, Steven Taylor and Mike Williamson.

Tottenham's interest in Carroll - and Pardew's determination to hang on to him - has been well publicised, but the manager admits their have been other enquiries, justifying his efforts to secure his key players.

Speaking from the club's training camp in Portugal, he told BBC Radio Newcastle: "The most important thing is that you don't lose your best players, and I think that's got lost a little bit.

"It doesn't sell papers, keeping players, but for us and for me in particular, Joey Barton, Andy Carroll, Jose (Enrique], Cheik (Tiote], all those very, very important players, we have managed to push everyone away - and there have been enquiries, as you would imagine."

Pardew has allowed winger Wayne Routledge to join QPR on loan, but is now working on strengthening his squad, probably with a loan deal, after being linked with the likes of Shaun Wright-Phillips and Stephen Ireland in recent days.

He said: "It really is a moveable feast, so you just have to be on your toes and make sure you have got yourself in place.

"Now, between myself, (managing director] Derek (Llambias] and (club

secretary] Lee Charnley, we are well geared up and ready to move if we feel there is one or even two players we feel can help us."

What will certainly help Pardew and Newcastle is the return of Carroll from an increasingly troublesome thigh injury and summer signing Tiote from suspension with one instalment of his three-match ban still to serve.

The manager had hoped to have the 22-year-old striker back in harness for next Wednesday's Barclays Premier League trip to Fulham, but having seen him fail to return to some form of training in Portugal, he is sending him to consult a specialist in Sweden tomorrow.

Pardew said: "You get these experts in different fields and this guy is in the Arctic end of Sweden and he is flying out there on Friday, and we are hoping that we can turn him around quickly.

"But now I have to say that Fulham is definitely out and maybe even Arsenal."

Pardew also revealed that midfielder Dan Gosling could be sidelined for up to four weeks after suffering a reaction to his return from a long-term knee injury at Sunderland earlier this month, a problem which could require further minor surgery.

But Hatem Ben Arfa, who has been out since suffering a double leg fracture at Manchester City on October 3, is due to fly in from France ahead of the home clash with Arsenal on February for an assessment of his recovery.

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