All the latest news, views and transfer rumours from St. James' Park...
Newcastle's dire second half of the season put manager Alan Pardew under intense pressure, with a strong summer transfer window now expected. Pardew was recently handed a boost with the news that captain Fabrizio Coloccini will be staying at the club rather than heading back to his native Argentina, and the former Deportivo man has been praised by his boss today.
"I think that core leadership of having Colo here is important," Pardew said. "Take me out of the equation, you've got [owner] Mike [Ashley], you've got [managing director] Lee Charnley and you've got Colo. That's direct leadership through the club and I think that's important.
"He is our captain and he's had to do a tough job this year when we've felt down and been a bit negative with ourselves. He's been important. We all know if he plays like he did against Cardiff - and gets back to that level - we've got a top player," added the Magpies manager.
Yet one player who will be leaving the club is striker Loic Remy, whose loan deal from Queens Park Rangers has now expired. An impressive season on Tyneside has heightened interest in the Frenchman and he could increase his stock even more with impressive displays at the World Cup this summer - where his former Magpies team-mate Moussa Sissoko has backed him to succeed.
"Loic (Remy) fits in very well in this group," he said. "He is a player who lives well, who gets along with everyone. It's true that he has had less time playing with the French national team than his club. But it's completely different. Everyone has confidence in him. We know he can bring something, create danger at any time. I hope we will see a big Loic Remy during this World Cup."
Meanwhile, Pardew is now reportedly looking to bring former Fulham midfielder Steve Sidwell to the club. The 31-year-old is a free agent after leaving the Cottagers last week, and with Newcastle desperately needing help all over the pitch, ex-Chelsea man Sidwell is deemed as a bargain target this summer.