In the wake of Newcastle's friendly victory over Sheff Wed last night, which featured a great finish from the increasingly impressive looking Ayoze Perez, Alan Pardew has been wading into the murky waters of transfer speculation by suggesting that the Magpies aren't quite done in the transfer market yet this summer. Having seen both Perez and Riviere impress in games this pre-season - and score - as well as witnessing a man of the match performance by Yoann Gouffran, and receiving news that Papiss Cisse might be returning from injury quicker than expected, Pardew could have been forgiven for concentrating his efforts on expanding options in other parts of the team. That is particularly pertinent for Toon fans who believe that it is the back-line of Pardew's team that needs the most attention, but he seems happy with the available options of Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini, Steven Taylor and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, if his post-match comments are anything to go by:
"I think looking at our squad were still shy of a striker. And that would be ideal if we could get one that suited the club and well take that forward. Im really pleased with the work weve done this summer. The squad is far removed from the team that finished last season and rightly so weve invested very well. It was a tough game for us, especially after all the travelling we ve had to do. But I thought we showed great effort, put in fantastic commitment and got a good result at the end of a strong performance. I was very pleased, too, with the work ethic showed by the players.Incredibly, Pardew did not use his now infamous "over the line" comment, but the suggestion is that the club is currently working on a deal to increase the options up-top. In the wake of his failed move to Liverpool, Loic Remy has been made a 2/1 favourite to re-sign for the club at the third time of asking, and Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is at 3/1 to sign before the end of the transfer window (both with SkyBet). The Aubameyang link is probably powered most by fans' desires (as expressed in the Evening Chronicle's poll), but Pardew has refused to rule out Remy so far, though he did stop short of admitting he's actively pursuing a deal, prefering instead to admit only that the club are monitoring the situation:
"I am surprised about whats happened with Loic because I thought he was signing for Liverpool and that door was slammed shut. I didnt expect that, and we certainly had no problem with Loic during his time with us. "So we shall monitor it as we go along. We are monitoring things as we go and its difficult when you ask questions about one player because I thought our young players were terrific."
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