Steve McClaren’s adamant that Ayoze Perez will NOT be sold this month as Newcastle United “urgently” seek reinforcements.
The relegation-threatened club has already signed Jonjo Shelvey and Henri Saivet this month.
And Newcastle are looking to sign a striker and a winger before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.
But talks over deals for West Bromwich Albion’s Saido Berahino and Tottenham Hotspur’s Andros Townsend have stalled, and the club is looking at other options, among them Swansea City’s Bafetimbi Gomis.
Perez, meanwhile, has been linked with a number of clubs, including Tottenham.
But McClaren says the five-goal forward will not be leaving St James’s Park this month.
“We are not losing our best players in this window,” said McClaren. “He’s been great – there’s a lot more to come.
“He needs to be more consistent, but he has great potential. It’s his second year. He scored a great goal last week.
“He needs to score more and get more assists and be more consistent, but he’s not going anywhere.”
McClaren again refused to talk about the areas the club needs to strengthen ahead of this afternoon’s game against Watford at Vicarage Road.
However, asked if the need for reinforcements had been “heightened” by the club’s predicament, he said: “Any club will look.
“That’s what they do at the end of December, evaluate where they are and what they need, what are the ambitions, and of course our ambition is to as quickly as possible climb up the league and get away from the bottom three.
“In that respect, yes, there’s probably more urgency there.”
Meanwhile, McClaren expects United midfielder Cheick Tiote to complete a proposed £4million move to Shanghai Shenhua over the coming days.
Tiote is back on Tyneside, having been in London for the past few days.
McClaren said: “Negotiations are still ongoing. I can’t see any complications.”