NEWCASTLE United are braced for late bids for midfield pair Yohan Cabaye and Cheik Tiote.
And manager Alan Pardew knows the last few days of the summer transfer window will have a huge bearing on the club’s season.
Pardew’s side lost 2-0 to Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday, and work started today on preparations for Thursday’s European qualifier against Atromitos.
However, the focus this week will be as much off the pitch as on it.
The transfer window closes on Friday, and Cabaye and Tiote are among Newcastle’s most saleable assets.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger – who sold defensive midfielder Alex Song to Barcelona – yesterday distanced himself from a move for Tiote, though he was today linked with a move for Cabaye.
“I’m pleased with what I have, but yes I anticipate that we will do something,” said Wenger.
“Defensive midfielder? It depends on the quality of the players available. Tiote is a good player, but he’s not on the way to Arsenal.”
Arsenal’s North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur are also looking to sign a midfielder, with Luka Modric close to joining Real Madrid.
And Cabaye is a player who is understood to interest Andre Villas-Boas, who was keen on Tiote while manager of Chelsea.