sport

Newcastle going for a Bong

Valenciennes' president has claimed Newcastle have tabled an offer for the Ligue 1 club's Cameroon left-back Gaetan Bong.

Despite bringing in France defender Mathieu Debuchy from another Ligue 1 club, Lille, this week, Pardew is still looking to strengthen in the area in order to take some pressure off his established names.

Valenciennes president Jean-Raymond Legrand told le10sport.com: "Newcastle are very interested, they have made an offer. We will wait and see. But I will not sell players unless I can replace them."

While Pardew continues to be frustrated in his search for a striker to replace the departed Demba Ba, he also alluded on Thursday to his defensive concerns.

The Magpies manager said: "It's a position that we really need to strengthen as we have let in some loose goals this year because we have not had the competition, and the likes of Davide Santon have needed a rest at times. That sort of pressure has told on us."

Meanwhile Pardew insisted the club's failure to land a new striker is not for want of trying, with confusion persisting over the future of reported long-term target Loic Remy at Marseille.

Pardew added: "There is no doubt we are beavering away in the background to try to get players in.

"At the start of the window you get all sorts of mixed messages and it's very difficult to cement somebody down to a decision because they're waiting to see if another club gets involved.

"But it will accelerate as we get nearer the end of the window. The problem for us teams who perhaps need to strengthen is trying to get those decisions made."

Pardew reported better news on the injury front, with Papiss Cisse and Fabricio Coloccini both fit to return for Saturday's Premier League trip to Norwich, while Yohan Cabaye could come back to the bench.