THE sight of a Mike Ashley's helicopter arriving at Newcastle's training ground on transfer deadline day might have suggested a late flurry in the market. However, one of the busiest days of the season passed by with the squad celebrating their new arrivals in fitting style.
The Magpies' owner and managing director Derek Llambias flew from London early on, but Alan Pardew put any whispers of late transfer activity to bed when he revealed the pair had simply come to meet their new signings.
Having spent just over £16m on the acquisitions of Mathieu Debuchy, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Yoan Gouffran, Moussa Sissoko and Massadio Haidara, yesterday was never going to provide the excitement of past deadline days on Tyneside.
There was one new arrival through the doors at St James' Park, though, and that was teenage defender Kevin Mbabu from Swiss club Servette, who is likely to join the Magpies' development squad following a successful trial.
Paul Dummett and Mehdi Abeid headed out on loan to St Mirren and St Johnston respectively, while Pardew revealed an 'emphatic no' had met inquiries for a couple of his key players.
Despite speculation linking him with Wigan and Stoke, Danny Simpson will see out his contract at St James' Park after a move failed to materialise.
Pardew is clearly pleased with the backing he has received from Ashley in the transfer market and said the Newcastle owner is the best he has worked under.
"He just wanted to see the new players and this was the first opportunity he had. It was deadline day, that was just coincidence. It's not like we were flying someone in or flying someone out," Pardew said.
"I don't think Mike speaks French but he said hello. They all come to see him and he asked them a couple of questions and they asked him a couple of questions.
"Mike is a personable person, he's a good communicator. He has to be in the business he's in. It is always welcoming to have him here.
"There is no getting away from the results we've had this year have not been good enough for this club. I think we all appreciate we did need to strengthen and fortunately for myself it gives me an opportunity to turn the situation around.
"He has been very, very supportive. In fact, as a chairman he is the best I've had in the acknowledgement of the role you're doing."
Getting their business done early in the month meant the Magpies could focus on preparing for tomorrow's visit of Chelsea without any distraction.
In the past, Newcastle have held a series of themed days at the training ground in celebration of their multi-national squad and yesterday saw their base at Longbenton decorated in French flags.
A menu of French delights were served at lunchtime, while on the pitch there was a France versus the rest of the world game.
"The chef is just showing off really, we've had scallops and everything!" Pardew revealed. "If we have dodgy bellies tomorrow he's going to get it!
"It's important to understand the culture when you have such a big percentage of one nation in your squad.
"We had the French versus the rest of the world, which was an interesting game. They were Les Miserables today. They got murdered. But they looked a little bit tired from the other night, they will want a bit of revenge.
"It's important they integrate into the club very quickly. Nothing integrates better than a win, trust me."
With his new arrivals already getting to grips with the Premier League and several key players returning from injury, Pardew says the squad he has to pick from is the strongest it has been all season.
He said: "I think what is important is our form now until the end we keep the squad as fit as it is right now. This is the strongest squad we've had this season.
"I'm hoping some of the cramp that Moussa and Yohan sustained was probably because it was their debuts."
Some of Pardew's new signings will make their home debuts at St James' Park tomorrow.
The match will also see the return of Demba Ba, who joined the Stamford Bridge club last month.
NEWCASTLE last night terminated Spanish striker Xisco's contract by mutual consent.
He joined the Magpies in September 2008 from Deportivo La Coruna in a deal worth £5.7m, but the striker has barely featured during his four-and-half-year spell on Tyneside, making just nine appearances and scoring once.
The 26-year-old has spent the majority of his Newcastle career on loan with spells at Racing Santander and Deportivo.
His last competitive appearance for the Magpies came as a substitute in the 6-0 win over Aston Villa in August 2010.
He is expected to sign an 18-month contract with Spanish side Cordoba.
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