ALAN Pardew has conceded that Newcastle face a drawn-out battle as they look to turn Loic Remy’s loan deal from QPR into a permanent transfer.
Remy will remain at St James’ Park until the end of the season after the Magpies shelled out a £2m loan fee to secure his services in the summer.
Pardew has already confirmed his desire to sign the France international permanently, with Remy having made an instant impact since leaving London.
Saturday’s opening goal against Norwich City was the striker’s eighth in the last eight league games, and only Sergio Aguero, Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge have scored more Premier League goals than him this season.
The terms of Remy’s loan from QPR do not include an automatic clause enabling Newcastle to complete a permanent deal, and while QPR officials are understood to have discussed a possible transfer prior to Remy leaving Loftus Road, Pardew has previously admitted the situation is “complicated”.
In truth, it is becoming increasingly complex by the week, with competing interest from other clubs threatening to undermine Newcastle’s attempts to engineer a long-term deal.
Inter Milan and Napoli have both expressed an interest in Remy, with Arsenal becoming the latest side to be linked with the Frenchman yesterday.
The presence of an £8m release clause in Remy’s contract means he is unlikely to remain with QPR, even if they are promoted back to the Premier League, but whether Newcastle would be willing to match his current wages of around £80,000-a-week over a long-term deal remains to be seen.
The Magpies are understood to be paying his wages in full at the moment, but owner Mike Ashley would surely be reluctant to commit to such a sum over the course of a four or five-year contract.
“I think Loic is going to be an ongoing thing,” said Pardew. “We are probably going to be talking about that for a long, long time. I don’t want to start it now.”
In an ideal world, Newcastle would tie up a permanent deal during the January transfer window, but Remy’s agents have already indicated that a decision over the 26-year-old’s future will be left until next summer.
By that stage, the Magpies could be back in Europe if they maintain the strong recent form that has seen them record victories over Chelsea, Tottenham and Norwich this month.
Saturday’s win over the Canaries lifted them to within two points of the top four, a remarkable statistic given that they were languishing in 16th position when they lost at Everton at the end of September.
With West Brom visiting St James’ on Saturday, Newcastle have a great opportunity to strengthen their position even further, and while Remy is reluctant to get too carried away, he sees no reason why Champions League qualification should not be regarded as a realistic proposition.
“For the moment, we just carry on and play good,” said the striker. “We go game after game and we’ll try to win a lot of games. At the end of the season, we can maybe do the Champions League.
“At the moment, we are not focused on that. But we know we have quality and that we can do it. I am not surprised by the quality of this team.”