Toon boss assures fans Carroll will be staying
Alan Pardew has been reassured by Newcastle that he will not have to sell Andy Carroll in the January transfer window, despite reported interest in the striker from Chelsea and Tottenham.
Pardew insisted that settling Carroll's future was one of his priorities before taking over and that he would do his utmost to make sure the £20m-rated forward had a long-term future at the club.
"Andy Carroll's future was one of the items at the top of my agenda," Pardew said. "He needs to stay. He is the No 9 of Newcastle. He is someone the fans have bought into. As long as I'm here, I'll be doing everything I can to make sure he stays.
"In the short term, he is staying. He has just signed a new contract for five years. I have had reassurances about that, 100pc, he is staying."
Pardew will also try to persuade Steven Taylor to stay even though he seems certain to leave on a free transfer at the end of the season. However, at present, retaining Carroll's services is paramount.
"When I sat down with Derek Llambias (managing director) last night, Andy Carroll came up and he stays," Pardew said."The No 9 shirt is legendary and he has shown he is big enough to wear it. It would be a massive, massive blow if he left but I am sure he will stay. "
Pardew, who may try to move on fringe players such as Leon Best, Xisco, Alan Smith and James Perch to create space for new players in January, has promised he will be not be a 'patsy' when it comes to dealing with his paymasters.
"Newcastle fans should know I will be strong enough to knock on the door," he said. "That is something I guarantee I will do. I have been creative with transfers, got Yossi Benayoun in at West Ham, got Dean Ashton.
"All I would say about January is that I really need to know what I've got at the club. There is a good base of players I have worked with and that I know. One or two of those I will be suggesting to (chief scout) Graham Carr to check out to see where they are right now." (© Daily Telegraph, London)