ALAN Pardew isn’t ruling out a late, late signing at Newcastle United - but he’s also still fearful of an equally last-minute departure.
The transfer window closes tomorrow night, and the club has recruited just one senior player - Vurnon Anita from Ajax - over the summer months.
Gael Bigirimana, Romain Amalfitano and Curtis Good have also arrived at St James’s Park.
Pardew had hoped to also strengthen his defence, but fees couldn’t be agreed for Lille’s Mathieu Debuchy and FC Twente’s Douglas.
And Newcastle’s hopes of re-signing Andy Carroll from Liverpool look slim - unless the club’s offer of a loan with a view to a £13.5m permanent deal is significantly increased.
Both clubs are unwilling to reconsider their valuations, but a lot could change over the next 24 hours, not least because of the need to move Carroll out of Anfield to fund Brendan Rodgers’s rebuilding.
For his part, Pardew is as concerned with keeping his key players - not least first-choice central midfield pair Yohan Cabaye and Cheik Tiote - on Tyneside amid interest from Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.
“Whether we take someone before the window shuts, maybe,” Pardew told the Gazette.
“The most important thing is we don’t lose one of our key players. I’m on guard at that. The club’s on guard, and we’ve got to be careful.”
Pardew vowed never to sell Carroll after taking charge at United, only to be forced to reluctantly sell him in January last year.
And that experience has cautioned him against ruling anything out in the transfer market.
“I’m never confident - I lost Andy Carroll for £35m,” added Pardew. “Who would have actually said that there’d be a bid for £35m for Andy Carroll.
“No-one, and we have to look at those bids if they’re in that region.
“We’re not in a financial situation where we could say we couldn’t use £40m.
“Until the day comes when we’re in the Champions League, and in a healthier position, that’s going to be our fate right up until 11pm on Friday night.”
Equally, Pardew hasn’t given up hope of a late breakthrough with the brinkmanship that has gone on across Europe all season coming to an inevitable head on deadline day.
“I’m not going to rule out anything other than that we’re on top of it all,” he said.
“I want the fans to know that myself, Lee (Charnley, club secretary) and Derek (Llambias, managing director) are monitoring all the transfers.
“We know the players we’re looking out for, and if they move, that might trigger us.
“If they don’t, we may hold off until such time we think the deal might be better.”