Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has set his sights on a top four finish, as he plots to keep hold of the club’s star players.

The Magpies recently lost star right-back Mathieu Debuchy to Arsenal, following the exit of midfield creator Yohan Cabaye back in January.

These two are just a couple of a long list of players to have abandoned St James’ Park in recent years, with big name strikers such as Demba Ba and Andy Carroll having also left the ‘Toon’ in search of European football.

WANT MORE? >> Newcastle transfer news | Latest transfer news

Although signings have been rare in the past few transfer windows at Newcastle, Daryl Janmaat, Remy Cabella, Siem de Jong, Emmanuel Riviere have been snapped up this time around, and Pardew says that his aim is to now build a team capable to making into the continent’s top club competition:

“If you don’t make the Champions League, then the big teams come for your players – look at Southampton.” He is quoted by The Express.

“We are pushing every year to try and build to hopefully get to a stage where we make it without losing our players.

“We have pitched in and signed players that we think give us a chance to push for Champions League.

“We have already shown we are much better covered offensively than we were after Yohan Cabaye’s departure.

“We have options, more options to come in and it is going to strengthen my hand to tactically change the team.”

Newcastle finished fifth in 2011/12, which is the closest they had come to Champions League action since the early 2000s.