Coloccini's our captain and I want to keep him, says Toon chief Pardew
He has pulled off the biggest deal of the transfer window so far and now Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is looking to secure a new contract for captain Fabricio Coloccini which he believes will be just as significant as the arrival of 10million striker Papiss Demba Cisse.
Argentina international Coloccini has been in talks for several weeks to extend his current deal but has yet to sign.
In black and white: Pardew is desperate to tie Coloccini down to a new deal
Liverpool are among the interested parties watching how the discussions develop.
Twelve months ago Pardew was hit by the sudden departure of Andy Carroll and rumours persist that top scorer Demba Ba remains a target for Paris St Germain, despite the signing of his Senegal strike partner Cisse.
As the transfer window moves into the final fortnight, Pardew is increasingly confident he can keep this squad together for the remainder of the season.
Staying put: The Newcastle boss is confident of hanging on to Ba
Pardew said: 'The priority for me is Coloccini's new contract and one or two others. We are focused on that because we want to keep our best players. He is our captain and I want to keep him, and negotiations are due to restart shortly.
'We are still vulnerable to the Champions' League clubs and we still need to balance the books, therefore even in this window, I am on my guard. I see us keeping the same squad together but there is no guarantee.
'You look at us now with the signing of Cisse, and players like Cabaye and Santon, we are suddenly becoming a threat. If we can keep everyone fit and with eight games to go, keep ourselves in and around sixth or seventh we will have less pressure on ourselves than the others and then we can be dangerous.
'But we have to get ourselves in that position and to get us there we need a big squad.'