JOSE Enrique has hinted he could leave Newcastle United this summer rather than sign a new long-term deal at St James' Park.
However, Newcastle's summer strengthening should be helped by their strong financial position after it was revealed the club received an up-front payment of £30m as part of the deal that took Andy Carroll to Liverpool.
Enrique has attracted plenty of attention with a string of impressive performances in the first half of the campaign.
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The Spaniard, who is due to enter the final year of his current deal this summer, is being lined up as a summer transfer target for both Liverpool and Aston Villa.
With Patrice Evra being linked with a multi-million pound move to Real Madrid, he could also find himself courted by Manchester United such has been the speed of his development this season.
Enrique has refused to discuss a new contract with Newcastle until the club's Premier League status is secure, but even though Tuesday's win at Birmingham represented a giant step towards survival, the full-back's comments to a Spanish media outlet suggest he could be edging towards the exit door.
"It is flattering that Liverpool are interested," said Enrique. "I've also heard that Manchester United and Aston Villa have asked about me.
"They are both big teams and I'm not closing the door on anyone. I'm ambitious and want to play in the Champions League. I want to win things. I'm okay at Newcastle but I aspire to more."
With Carroll having left St James' without a ready-made replacement, this summer should see significant transfer activity on Tyneside.
Pardew has pledged to spend the entire £35m received from Carroll's departure, and the terms of the club-record deal should assist his attempts to sign players once the transfer window reopens.
While most transfers involve a relatively minimal up-front payment, with further installments spread over the terms of a player's contract, Newcastle are understood to have demanded £30m of Liverpool's fee in one hit.
It is extremely unusual for a selling club to receive more than 80 per cent of a total transfer transaction on the day the sale goes through, but Newcastle's willingness to drive a hard bargain has left them in a strong position as they prepare to enter the market themselves this summer.
Mike Ashley prefers to fund his transfer dealing up front, and with his club having banked £30m at the start of the month, the Magpies owner should be in a position to do so.
Newcastle are also understood to have inserted a 25 per cent sell-on clause into the terms of Carroll's transfer.
Pardew is already compiling a list of potential targets, and the Newcastle boss is also attempting to improve the long-term planning at the club's Darsley Park training ground.
When he arrived in the North-East, Pardew was less than impressed with the club's strategic position, and he is working to ensure there is a better continuity process for when he eventually departs.
"I've read up a little on what's gone on in the past, looked at stuff in and around the training ground and obtained reports and stuff of games," said the Magpies manager. "I'm trying to install a system now that whoever comes in after me has every bit of evidence because, if I'm honest, I've found that wanting.
"We report on every game, the build-up, the training and little things that happen. If a player pulled out late, we record why it happened so there will be some sort of history here now for the next manager.
"That's important given the size of this club. It's good to know what went on and what goes on here."
Pardew is slowly coming to terms with the job he inherited when he succeeded Chris Hughton, and remains mindful of the depth of support for his current employers.
"It's a bigger job than I've had before in terms of the time I spend working in and around the club," he said. "The transfer window was particularly difficult, but it's settled down a bit now and I'm looking forward to having a bit more preparation time with the team. We've got a nice run now to Bolton and another week to Everton.
"I still go back to my first week though. I went into a petrol station at minus three degrees and bumped into one of our fans, a bloke of about 43, who had the full kit on and was asking me questions. That takes some beating."