There was good news yesterday in that it seems now almost certain that Steven Taylor will sign his new contract.
Ben Arfa – a Newcastle player early next year?
And the other good news we heard yesterday was that Newcastle are reported to be in negotiations with Ben Arfa, to bring the French International to Newcastle on a permanent basis.
Alan Pardew has concentrated on the players who are not ties down at the club or whose contracts run out soon.
Those players include Steven and Ben Arfa, but also Joey Barton and Jose Enrique, whose five year deals run out in 18 months time.
This is what Alan explained he’d been focusing on since arriving on Tyneside a short two weeks ago:
“I’ve focused on the players we have, which I think is important. Contract situations, such as Taylor and Ben Arfa, have dictated that. I’ve tried to focus on those, as well as not taking my eye off the other guys who don’t have too long left as well.”
“Joey Barton has obviously been mentioned in the press recently, and that’s probably because he only has 18 months left. That’s something else that perhaps I need to look at, although I think that one can wait for a little while longer past this window.”
“He’s not going to go anywhere and we’re very happy with him. I think you can see in Joey’s body language that he feels good. You can tell he’s fit and strong and his confidence levels are high. When he’s like that, he’s as good as anybody.”
“When you have a team that is doing well and you have a good spirit in the camp, you want to make sure that the players that are performing get looked after. It’s the same with José Enrique.”
Once Steven and Ben Arfa are secured to Newcastle deals, then we have to think that Alan will try to tie down Jose and Joey for another five years on Tyneside, and that should start early in the new year.
And then of course Alan will want to do a little bit of business in the transfer market next month, and we may be surprised with some of the players that come in, but only if some good players become available.