Pardew: Toon have no need to sell
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has warned clubs targeting his biggest names they will have to "blow the doors off" to stand any chance of landing them.
Pardew is desperate not to sell any of the men upon whom he hopes to build a side capable of bouncing back from last season's disappointment amid speculation over the likes of Tim Krul, Cheick Tiote, Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa. However, Pardew believes it would take an offer of breathtaking proportions to persuade owner Mike Ashley to cash in.
He told the Chronicle: "I feel we are in a strong position financially to hold on to our players. If one of our top players goes, it will be a bid that blows the doors off. That's it."
Newcastle have worked hard to tie up their best players on long-term deals, but Pardew is aware they are vulnerable to clubs with bigger spending power dangling the carrot of Champions League football in front of his players.
There is a pragmatism too at St James' Park, as was demonstrated when Ashley accepted Liverpool's £35million bid for Andy Carroll in January 2011, and while it might not take that much to prise out one of the current crop, potential suitors would have to make the Magpies an offer they simply could not refuse.
Pardew said: "In terms of the big players, again we have not sold anybody. We have players under long-term contracts here. Hopefully we can add to that."
There is growing disquiet among fans that Newcastle are yet to add to the squad which struggled so much last season - indeed, they have lost Steve Harper, Danny Simpson and James Perch, with Dan Gosling attracting interest from Crystal Palace - while derby rivals Sunderland have made seven new signings to date and have more in the pipeline.
Pardew is particularly keen to recruit a proven striker with Aston Villa's Darren Bent, with whom he worked briefly at Charlton, among his targets.
He said: "We are strong in some areas and weak in others. I think it would be nice to strengthen in some areas.
"The obvious target is a striker and we have four or five targets.
"It is difficult, because I know there is speculation, particularly about Darren Bent."