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May 15, 2012

Pardew fears Toon exodus

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew admits he faces a fight on his hands if he is to stave off Europe's biggest clubs when the summer transfer window opens.

Newcastle were the surprise package of the season as they narrowly missed out on finishing in the top four of the Premier League.

Performances from the likes of midfield trio Hatem Ben Arfa, Yohan Cabaye and Cheikh Tiote have not gone unnoticed, while Senegalese strikers Papiss Demba Cisse and Demba Ba have attracted the attention of a number of big clubs.

Despite narrowly missing out on a place in next season's Champions League, Cisse is not looking to leave St James' Park, although Ba has been linked with a move to Chelsea.

But Pardew, who was named LMA manager of the season on Monday, is hopeful of keeping key names at the club.

"I think it is important to try and keep our best players," Pardew said. "I think that is going to be difficult but we will try. When you look at the finance we have it is difficult when Champions League clubs come calling. We will have to take stock of that.

"We have got our eyes set on players we think can take us forward if we lose anybody. In terms of bringing people in, we will definitely bring in two or three players and hopefully get it right. We need to strengthen in some areas."

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