All the latest news, views and transfer rumours from St. James' Park...
Despite winning five of their last six games - including victories over Chelsea and Manchester United - Alan Pardew is looking to strengthen his strikeforce and has once again been linked with a move for Dutch international Luuk de Jong. The Borussia Monchengladbach forward was strongly linked with a move to the North East during his time with Twente, where he hit 52 goals in 99 games in his final two seasons in the Eredivisie.
However, since moving to the Bundesliga, de Jong's goals have dried up. Just eight goals in 31 games for Monchengladbach have his future in doubt, and the 23 year old's agent, Louis Laros, has admitted that de Jong is unhappy in Germany any may seek a move away if the opportunity presents itself.
"It seems clear to me that Luuk is not happy. But that does not mean he's leaving. We will look at what is best for Luuk and for Gladbach," Laros said.
With the possibility of de Jong arriving at St. James' Park, Pardew may have to let one of his strikers leave, and a prime candidate would appear to be Shola Ameobi. The 32 year old frontman has been with Newcastle since 1995, but with Newcastle now harbouring aspirations of breaking into Europe again, Pardew is seeking to add more quality to his squad.
Whilst Ameobi is a reliable, hard-working centre forward, he has never been prolific, scoring just 77 goals in 379 games for the Magpies during time with the club. De Jong may well offer Pardew more up front than Amoebi can, and the opportunity to prolong his Premier League career with Hull City may be the best move for all parties.
Away from the upcoming transfer window, manager Pardew praised a new found worth ethic amongst his players, which has coincided with their great run of form. Pardew also mentioned the hard-working nature of the fanbase, and how his squad need to display the same mentality and attitude on the pitch.
“I’ve tried to put in place a work ethic, a discipline and an attacking make-up of the team,” he said. “Sometimes we get undone but we are trying to build and build each year.
“I know what this club means to this city, particularly when you win, to go into work and have that pride in your team. It gives a real boost to your spirit. It’s an area of the country that is a hard-working region. The people here are so honest and hard working, and the team needs to reflect that.
“If it doesn’t the fans get upset, and there were periods last season where we didn’t do that. They were right to be upset. It was my job to make sure we put that right this year and we have worked really, really hard. We are getting our rewards for it but there is still a big part of the season to go.”
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