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CHN Links: Christmas Eve Edition

Good morning, Toon Army. Alan Pardew is close to re-signing Steven Taylor and wants to keep Hatem ben Arfa. Maybe he's not Satan after all.

Alan Pardew and Steven Taylor yuk it up together. A face-to-face meeting between the two could be what ends up keeping Taylor in black and white stripes.
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Steven Taylor is reportedly close to signing a new deal with the club, ending his long contract dispute. Negotiations were not going well but turned around recently following a one-on-one meeting with Alan Pardew. If Taylor does indeed end up signing, Pardew will on his way to winning over a fanbase that was very unhappy at his hiring. (Steve Brown, The Chronicle) Pardew has said that he will take a prominent role in negotiations. (Luke Edwards, The Journal)

Alan Pardew will reportedly make signing Hatem ben Arfa to a permanent deal a priority next month. (Alex Shaw, talkSPORT) Pardew is worried about Newcastle's depth and wants to add a striker and a left back in the January transfer window. Surely he means right back, right? (Luke Edwards, The Journal)

Joey Barton made some comments recently that are sure to make him even more popular than he already is among his peers. (Simon Bird, MirrorFootball)

Alan Pardew compared Andy Carroll to Carlos Tevez. Maybe a little ambitious, but I appreciate that the manager has confidence in his boys. (Sky Sports) In a separate interview, Steve Stone praised Carroll's mental toughness. (John Gibson, The Chronicle)

Nigel de Jong is fit for Sunday's match. Shola Ameobi will likely miss the match, which means Nile Ranger could get the call if Pardew decides to stick with the 4-4-2. (Both links from MirrorFootball)

Dan Gosling is close to returning to match fitness. (Steve Brown, The Chronicle)