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Could Newcastle sell big names before window shuts?
ALAN PARDEW fears one big deal before the transfer window closes on Monday night could spark a frenzy of bids across the Premier League and fears Newcastle United's best players could be the target.
While all eyes wait to see if Gareth Bale completes a record-busting move to Real Madrid or Manchester United seal the signatures of Marouane Fellaini or Leighton Baines, there are also nerves that the cream of the Magpies squad will be the subject of offers over the next few days.
It is almost two weeks since Arsenal lodged a £10m offer for Yohan Cabaye and Arsene Wenger has drawn up a list of other alternatives before deciding whether to increase his initial bid.
Manchester United, Paris St Germain and Tottenham have all shown tentative interest in the France international too, although he will be expected to face Fulham today.
There has been very little interest expressed in the other members of Pardew's team, but he thinks when Bale's Real switch is finalised - or another expensive transfer goes through - it will be the catalyst for more.
Cabaye's future has been the hot topic all summer, but he is not ruling out late attempts to prise the likes of Hatem Ben Arfa away from St James' Park before Monday's 11pm deadline.
Pardew said: "I think the weekend holds a lot of answers, the next three days, for not just us but other clubs. Spurs, Arsenal, what are they the going to do? Everton are those guys going to stay or go? It creates a lot of speculation.
“Who is to say Fellaini doesn't leave and Everton come knocking on our door for Ben Arfa? Things can impact on us. All Premier League managers will be slightly relieved when the window shuts.”
Pardew has still not forgot the way Andy Carroll was sold for a British record £35m fee on the final day of the transfer window in January 2011, so is all too aware of what can happen in the last hours.
Newcastle owner Mike Ashley is likely to cash in on a player if his valuation is met, which would leave Pardew and director of football Joe Kinnear frantically trying to find replacements with little time available.
The signs are not good so far on the recruitment front, with Pardew indicating there are no new signings imminent despite ongoing interest in Bafetimbi Gomis, Demba Ba, Andre-Pierre Gignac, Andre Ayew, James McCarthy and Callum McManaman. There is also believed to be an offer on the table for Lille's £10m rated Florian Thauvin.
Ironically Newcastle today face one of Pardew's preferred transfer targets this summer in the form of Darren Bent, who chose to join Fulham on a season long.
He could share the same pitch as the Magpies' only major signing since the end of last season after Loic Remy, on loan from QPR, recovered from the calf problem which has prevented him from making his debut so far.
Newcastle are hoping the midweek Capital One Cup victory over Morecambe will provide the platform for a Premier League kickstart after picking up one point and no goals from their opening two games.
"That win gives you a good feeling,” said Pardew. “I bumped into Fabricio Coloccini at training on the morning after the Morecambe game and he had watched it on the box.
“There was a bit of praise for how we stood up to an awful battering from them and those little things can help. Maybe we can kick on. There is that feeling and hopefully we can take it into Saturday.”
Pardew will bring back his big guns for the visit of Fulham after making eight chances for the trip to the Globe Arena, but Cheik Tiote will still be missing with a hamstring problem.
Goalkeeper Tim Krul is also a major doubt with a groin complaint picked up over the last seven days, but Pardew thinks Rob Elliot showed again at Morecambe why the club brought him in from Charlton two years ago.
Pardew said: “Obviously when Rob was at Charlton we got him under the radar for £3-£500,000, nothing really for a Premier League player. He looked a bit nervous that night at Nottingham Forest on his debut but we had such faith in him and he's repaid that faith, actually more so.
“He's not just pushing Tim but he's a Premier League goalie by anyone's game now. Fair play to him. That was a real good bit of business on our part. He's a cracking lad. He's very comfortable on the ball and it's only when the group really accept you that you can be like that.”
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