ALAN PARDEW fears the recognition Newcastle United have been receiving for their climb up the Premier League could have a negative impact on their attempts to tie down key players.

The Newcastle boss has been working with managing director Derek Llambias on new deals for a number of players whose contracts are running down.

As yet there has been no breakthrough and Pardew hinted a fortnight ago that he could be forced to listen to offers in January if there is little sign of progress.

While Danny Guthrie and Peter Lovenkrands are both out of contract next summer, the two deals Pardew is most keen on sorting are those belonging to Fabricio Coloccini and Danny Simpson.

Both have a further season to run on their existing deals, but Newcastle are keen to know that they are in a position of strength before either head in to the final 12 months of their deals.

And Pardew thinks Newcastle's promising performances could have alerted a number of clubs, which has not helped their drives to get their best players to sign new terms.

"As a manager I want my captain to be secured, they all seem to rumble on at this football club," said Pardew. "Hopefully we can strike a deal with the three we're talking to.

"I'd like to keep all the players here because they are doing terrific, but with success comes high expectations from the players and agents and we have to cope with that."

As well as Coloccini and Simpson, who has previously interested Aston Villa, Pardew is aware that the situations with Guthrie and Lovenkrands are even more precarious.

Both players could leave next summer as free agents and the latter has even suggested he will be looking for a move in January after failing to become a regular under Pardew.

The difference, though, is that Coloccini and Simpson are saleable assets, while Guthrie and Lovenkrands will not be valued too highly in the transfer market because of the length remaining on their contracts.

It promises to be a crucial period for Newcastle as they approach the January transfer window. As well as the uncertain futures surrounding their current players, there will also be a push to add to the squad.

The defensive crisis being faced by Pardew at the moment has shifted the onus on strengthening his options to play across his backline.

Steven Taylor will not play again this season with a ruptured Achilles, while Coloccini is unlikely to play at Norwich and could be out much longer with a thigh complaint.

Italian defender Davide Santon is on stand-by to play at the heart of the defence alongside James Perch at Carrow Road, which is a significant blow to a team that has fielded the same back four in every league game this season.

"It was massive for us when Colo was declared fit at Manchester United when we thought he would miss it," said Simpson. "His composure, his reading of the game and his defending in general, he is a top-class player. It gives you confidence when you have him alongside you.

"We have been working as a back five in training, day in and day out, working on things. It's nice when you don't have to change things."