Newcastle add Anita to summer recruits

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is satisfied with the way the transfer window has gone so far – although he admits getting another player in before it closes would be “the icing on the cake”.

The Magpies confirmed their fourth signing of the summer yesterday in midfielder Vurnon Anita, the 23-year-old Dutch international joining from Ajax on a five-year contract. That follows the arrivals of midfielders Romain Amalfitano and Gael Bigirimana and defender Curtis Good. Pardew said yesterday he would “not mind” if trading were to now cease, particularly given the key players he has so far managed to hold on to.

With the option to do more business still open until the end of the month, the 51-year-old
remains hopeful of a further
addition to his squad.

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At a press conference ahead of Newcastle’s Barclays Premier League opener at home against Tottenham this weekend, asked if the possibility might still be there to sign Lille’s France full-back Mathieu Debuchy, for whom Newcastle have had bids rejected, Pardew said: “I think, like with all transfers this summer, no-one is going to say it’s over or done until 1 September, when we all either have a deep sigh of relief – which I might do – or we are rubbing our hands over what has been a great window.

“For us, so far it has been a good one. We haven’t lost any of our great players and have brought in three or four, so, so far, so good.”

Those Pardew will be most delighted to still have at his disposal are the likes of strikers Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba and midfielders Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa, who emerged as stand-out performers for Newcastle last season as the team exceeded all expectation by
securing a fifth-placed top-flight finish.

Approaches for the club’s star names may yet be forthcoming before the end of August, but potential suitors can expect to pay big money.

Meanwhile, centre-back Fabricio Coloccini should be able to play despite suffering a knock in last weekend’s friendly defeat to Cardiff, while fellow defender Steven Taylor and midfielder Sylvain Marveaux are back after long-term injury. Anita, along with the three other new recruits, is available to make his debut.