ALAN Pardew has admitted a clutch of Newcastle United players are playing for their futures between now and the end of the season.
The club’s depleted squad is set for a much-needed summer overhaul – which Pardew says is in desperate need of an injection of “flair”.
And there are “question marks” about a number of players, according to manager Pardew, whose side’s Premier League form has dipped alarmingly since the January departure of Yohan Cabaye.
Cabaye – and on-loan forward Loic Remy – will need to be replaced over the summer months.
Others, including Hatem Ben Arfa and Papiss Demba Cisse, have been linked with moves away from Tyneside, while Sylvain Marveaux’s future almost certainly lies away from St James’s Park.
And what happens in the club’s five remaining Premier League games could have a bearing on the futures of a number of players.
“There are still question marks about certain individuals, and whether they will stay here as we go forward as a football club,” Pardew said.
Pardew has already been involved in discussions with Lee Charnley, the club’s new managing director, and chief scout Graham Carr.
The club this week issued a lengthy statement from Charnley, previously United’s football secretary, which reaffirmed the club’s intention to sign “one or two” players a year.
However, the club’s strategy is understood to have a degree of flexibility, and it is likely that there will be more incomings to compensate for the likely outgoings, which will include out of contract pair Shola Ameobi and Dan Gosling.
“I’m pleased about Lee Charnley’s appointment,” said Pardew, whose ninth-placed side take on Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium tomorrow.
“He knows Graham and myself well. He’s worked with us.
“I do think he will help in transfers, and the smoothness of them, and hopefully bring in some really important flair players.
“There’s no doubt it. We need a bit of quality in the squad.
“Hopefully, we can do that by working well together - Lee, Graham and myself - in the summer.”
Meanwhile, Harry Redknapp, manager of Remy’s parent club Queens Park Rangers, has suggested Remy – on a season-long loan at Newcastle – is destined to join a Champions League club this summer.
“Remy wants to play Champions League football next season, so they tell me,” said Redknapp.
“He’s done well at Newcastle, and one or two other big clubs are trying to get him, so there’s every chance he will go.
“He’s a scorer, and with the right team pushing to get in the top four, he’s capable of getting 20 goals.”