Newcastle latest: Pardew's job appears safe - for now...but duo could exit

Shola Ameobi

All the latest news, views and transfer rumours from St. James' Park...

Newcastle United had a weekend off having been knocked out of the FA Cup in the third round, but the rumours surrounding the future of manager Alan Pardew haven't slowed down.

The beleaguered Magpies boss has watched his side struggle in recent weeks, and the boos that sounded after Newcastle's 4-0 home loss to Tottenham Hotspur last week plunged Pardew's future into real doubt, and the Daily Express reported this weekend that he has just one game to save his job, with Aston Villa travelling to St. James' Park next weekend.

But local press insisted that the reports were untrue, and that Pardew, who is contracted until 2020, is not under any immediate pressure over his job security, suggesting that owner Mike Ashley will stick by his man for some time yet - which may not be music to the ears of Geordies everywhere.

Meanwhile, as if there wasn't enough drama in the North East right now, winger Hatem Ben Arfa is being linked with a move away from St. James' Park, with the Frenchman reportedly a target for Serie A giants Inter Milan in the summer. Recent speculation suggests that Pardew particularly singled out the former Lyon and Marseille winger for criticism after Spurs' win last week, and the French international could now seek to leave the club as a result.

Another potential exit could be long-serving Nigerian international Shola Ameobi. Little more than an afterthought in the Magpies' attack, Ameobi is now a reported target for Chinese side Guangzhou R&F, who are managed by none other than former England and Manchester City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson. The Swede could look to give Ameobi, 32, one final big pay day when his contract at Newcastle expires at the end of the season, leaving the Magpies to consider their options up front.

image: © blenky64

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