Get live updates from St James' Park as the Magpies host Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala in the UEFA Europa League
Alan Pardew says tonight's Europa League clash with Anzhi Makhachkala presents a "great opportunity" for Newcastle United
Anzhi Makhachkala boss Guus Hiddink says his team are hungry for success ahead of their Europa League clash with Newcastle United
Anzhi Makhachkala boss Guus Hiddink has dismissed speculation that the club are planning a summer move for Chelsea striker Fernando Torres.
The Spain international has struggled to recapture his best form since his £50 million move from Liverpool in January 2011, leading to reports that the European Champions may try to offload the 28-year-old in the near future.
The Russian club have been linked with Torres in recent newspaper reports. However, Hiddink has moved quick to play down the rumours.
Speaking ahead of his side's Europa League match with Newcastle United, he said: "Well it's interesting. With Anzhi it means that it's always 'oh the club has a lot of money', or 'the club has a lot of prestige'.
"Everyone is linked who wants to make a move, or an agent who wants to make a move. It's a game. As journalists, you know better... Maybe not better, but equally as coaches do.
"Players or agents have sometimes interests to be linked to other clubs, or to get a better contract on their own or whatsoever. You know what will happen. As long as there's nothing official from our side I can assure you there is no single approach to any player at this moment."
The Newcastle United squad were enjoying themselves during a training session ahead of their UEFA Europa League clash with Anzhi Makhachkala.
Watch the video below:
Newcastle United defender Davide Santon says the club must defend well during their Europa League match with Anzhi Makhachkala.
The Magpies host the Russian side in the second leg of their last-16 tie at St James' Park tomorrow night. Newcastle failed to score during the first leg, meaning they could be beaten on the away-goal rule if Anzhi were to score.
Speaking ahead of the match, Santon said: "We have to win the game and I think we have to defend well.
"If they score we have to score two, so it's really important for us to defend and when we have a chance, we have to score."
Alan Pardew says tonight's UEFA Europa League opponents Anzhi Makhachkala have a different agenda to Newcastle United in terms of their recruitment policy.
Bankrolled by billionaire owner Suleyman Kerimov, the Russian club have signed a host of established stars in recent years. The most notable being Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o from Inter Milan for 28 million euros (£24 million) in August 2011.
In contrast, the Magpies have preferred to invest in younger talent from overseas.
Speaking ahead of this evening's last-16 first-leg, Pardew said their opponents have stars who "have been world class players and now are trying to take a new club forward."
He added: "We're all about young players coming in on the up who haven't achieved that greatness yet, and that makes it an intriguing game."
Anzhi Manager Guus Hiddink has warned his players not to underestimate Newcastle United. To find out what he had to say click here
Alan Pardew says his team has no fears about playing on Anzhi's plastic pitch. The magpies have been training on an artificial surface all week and the manager says they have come up with a game plan.
Squad: Rob Elliot, Jak Alnwick, Danny Simpson, Davide Santon, Massadio Haidara, Steven Taylor, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, James Perch, Cheick Tiote, Gael Bigirimana, Yohan Cabaye, Vurnon Anita, Hatem Ben Arfa, Dan Gosling, Sylvain Marveaux, Gabriel Obertan, Moussa Sissoko, Shola Ameobi, Adam Campbell.
Winger Hatem Ben Arfa was on the plane when Newcastle headed for Moscow today ahead of the Europa League last-16 first-leg clash with Anzhi Makhachkala which is live on ITV 4
The 25-year-old Frenchman, who has not played since tearing a hamstring during the 2-1 Barclays Premier League defeat at Fulham on December 10, was included among a party of 19.
There were no places for injured duo Tim Krul or Fabricio Coloccini, nor the ineligible Mathieu Debuchy and Yoan Gouffran, but youngsters Jak Alnwick and Adam Campbell were among the party