NEWCASTLE UNITED have agreed a loan deal for Argentinian striker Facundo Ferrerya, but Alan Pardew admits the club have shelved their attempts to re-sign Loic Remy.
The Magpies flew to Germany today ahead of matches against Malaga and Schalke in the Schalke 04 Cup following a period of frenetic transfer activity.
Having made a final push to convince Remy to return to the North-East in the wake of his collapsed move to Liverpool, Newcastle’s recruitment team admitted defeat when the Frenchman refused to commit to a second spell at St James’ Park.
They immediately switched their attentions to Ferrerya, a 23-year-old striker who has been desperate to leave Shakhtar Donetsk in the wake of the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Having joined Shakhtar last summer, Ferrerya effectively threatened to go on strike rather than return to Donetsk, with his employers’ announcement of a temporary move to Kiev doing little to assuage his concerns.
West Ham United made contact with Shakhtar officials earlier this week, but Newcastle have moved quickly to tie up a season-long loan deal that will be worth around £1.6m to the Ukrainian side.
European sources also claim the Magpies have secured an agreement for a permanent deal worth around £6m, which they can trigger if they are happy with Ferrerya’s performances next season.
The Argentinian, who is a former under-20 international, scored six goals in 13 league appearances for Shakhtar last season, and has previously represented both Banfield and Velez Sarsfield in his homeland.
“It’s something that is not done, but we’re working to see if that can happen,” said Pardew, who has already added Ayoze Perez and Emmanuel Riviere to his attacking ranks this summer.
Ferrerya’s arrival should be confirmed at the start of next week, but there now appears little chance of him being joined by Remy, who does not want to commit to another season at Newcastle while there is still a chance of a Champions League side coming in for him before the end of the transfer window.
Both Pardew and managing director Lee Charnley had been pushing Remy’s representatives for a final decision on the striker’s future, and while Ferrerya’s capture does not necessarily mean there will not be another forward arriving on Tyneside this summer, Newcastle have temporarily drawn a line under their pursuit of last season’s leading goalscorer.
“I think he’s had plenty of chances to come to us,” said Pardew. “We made it very clear that we would like to have him, and it hasn’t really happened.
“Therefore sometimes you have to say where the line is drawn for us as a club as we have our own respect and our own professionalism.
“So maybe that one has gone away, but like all transfers, they’re never, ever over so we’ll keep our finger on the pulse.”
Pardew has taken a 26-man squad to Germany, with summer signings Remy Cabella and Daryl Janmaat both expected to make their first Newcastle outings over the weekend.
Siem de Jong has been rested after injuring his foot in New Zealand, and Hatem Ben Arfa is once again overlooked as Newcastle continue to look to sell the French winger before the transfer window closes.
Ben Arfa has not featured in any of the Magpies’ pre-season matches, with a perceived lack of professionalism continuing to infuriate his bosses.
“It’s a simple situation,” said Pardew, in an interview with BBC Newcastle. “We have a professionalism and a level of commitment to our work that he needs to fall into, and until he falls into that he won’t be part of the first team. He isn’t at the moment, and he’s injured ironically, but he’s still part of the club.”