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Best not for sale - Pardew

NEWCASTLE manager Alan Pardew has denied that he wants to sell Irish international striker Leon Best, WRITES Daniel McDonnell.

The 24-year-old made his first appearance of an injury-hit season as a late sub in Sunday's Premier League win over Wigan.

It was reported that Pardew had transfer-listed a player who has struggled with his form since Chris Hughton brought him to the club in last year's winter transfer window.

Hughton's replacement has admitted he is trying to boost his forward options, and has approached Spurs about the availability of Robbie Keane.

However, the Toon boss insists that Best has a future at St James' Park, and he could be involved in tomorrow night's meeting with West Ham.

"That's not true at all," said Pardew in response to speculation that Best was leaving. "Leon played a really nice cameo at Wigan.

"It was good to see the fans' reaction to him, which I thought was positive and good. He put his life on the line with a couple of challenges out there in the short period he was on."

Best broke into the Irish senior set-up in 2009, and figured in crunch World Cup qualifiers against France and Italy.

He failed to build on that momentum in 2010, though, with management unimpressed by his performance in last summer's training camp in Malahide.

Irish Independent