Nothing gets the rumour mill running quite like the opening of a transfer window, and at Newcastle United, the grapevine is already in overdrive as January approaches.
Having failed to land a single permanent signing during the summer, all eyes are on owner Mike Ashley, director of football Joe Kinnear and manager Alan Pardew to see if they can break that mould.
With six new arrivals last winter, the Toon kept their powder dry in pre-season, with loan star Loic Remy the only significant arrival at St. James’ Park.
Is there about to be a flurry of transfer activity on Tyneside? If so, who is on the Magpies’ wish list? We take a look at just some of the names doing the rounds at the moment.
While a move for Mexican forward Javier Hernandez will be viewed by some as ambitious, Newcastle United’s hierarchy would do well to keep a close eye on his situation.
With his country all but guaranteed a place at next year’s World Cup thanks to their 5-1 first-leg victory over New Zealand in the play-offs, the Guadalajara-born striker will demand as much first-team football as possible.
If his requests aren’t met at Old Trafford, a move elsewhere could become reality. His wages would present a stumbling block, but his desire for regular minutes on the pitch could prevail.
The Magpies were tenuously linked with a move for Hernandez by Cheshire Today back in early October, who cited Alan Pardew as a “long-term admirer.”
Even if Javier Hernandez does end up switching to Tottenham Hotspur in January, that may not be the end of the story as far as Newcastle United are concerned.
The Mexican’s arrival in North London would have immediate repercussions on Spurs striker Jermain Defoe, who has struggled to hold down a regular starting spot this season.
Toon boss Alan Pardew wanted to sign the England forward in the summer, and he admitted as much to Alex Richards from Mirror Football earlier this month.
The pair worked together at West Ham United, and should Defoe's situation change thanks to any more arrivals at White Hart Lane, expect the Magpies’ manager to be near the front of the queue of enquirers.
This may be an old link as far as Newcastle United fans are concerned, but Lyon’s Bafetimbi Gomis must remain a possibility as Alan Pardew looks to bolster his attack this winter.
The Toon’s interest in the French international is well documented, and the 28-year-old’s move to Tyneside looked certain to go ahead at one point during the summer.
The transfer broke down over the player’s wage demands, as reported by Graeme Yorke in the Daily Mail. However, with his contract set to expire at the Stade de Gerland at the end of the season, a fresh bid could reignite the deal.
Another player heavily linked with a move to Newcastle United this year—and another who is out of contract in June—is Tom Ince, who will almost certainly leave Blackpool in January.
The ace up the Magpies’ sleeve could be the inclusion of Toon midfielder Dan Gosling, who is currently on loan at Bloomfield Road and would welcome an extended stay, according to William Watt at the Blackpool Gazette.
If Gosling could be used as a sweetener in the deal, then Alan Pardew could well steal a march on his rivals and bring the England Under-21 star to St. James’ Park for a cut-price fee.
Alan Pardew eventually lost out to West Bromwich Albion, who landed the Republic of Ireland international on a three-year deal for a fee of £6.5 million including add-ons.
Today, however, the forward’s fate is very much up in the air, with his contract due to expire next summer and the bitter taste of a failed deadline day switch to Hull City still lingering.
According to Metro, Tigers boss Steve Bruce is keen to revive the deal, but expect Pardew to monitor any potential movement involving the 26-year-old.