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ALTHOUGH the focus of Newcastle United’s transfer activity ahead of the January window has centred on the search for a new left-back, assistant manager Chris Hughton has confirmed they are also looking to sign a central midfielder.

 

Hughton is wary of revealing anything too sensitive whenever he speaks to the media, but he admitted after Newcastle’s disappointing draw with Stoke City they had already identified the centre of midfield as an area of particular weakness in a small squad.

 

Newcastle may have extended their unbeaten run to four games after the 2-2 stalemate against Stoke but, for the second successive home game, they conceded an injury-time equaliser and have now taken just four points from a possible 15 since the impressive win over Aston Villa on November 3.

 

United’s squad looks short on both number and quality and an injury to Danny Guthrie on Saturday means Kinnear is heading into the busy and crucial festive period forced to play several individuals out of position.

 

“Central midfield is an area that we do need to strengthen,” said Hughton, who was sent out to speak to the media following Kinnear’s dismissal to the stands for verbally abusing the linesman. “I think Geremi did well in there first half but apart from him, who can also play wide, we have Nicky Butt, Danny Guthrie and Joey Barton. Today in the second half we had three of the three out.”

 

Kinnear has already confirmed his interest in two left-backs, Hearts’ David Obua and Independiente’s Lucas Mareque, but he is more secretive regarding the identity of potential midfield targets.

 

It may also be significant that Newcastle’s executive director (football) Dennis Wise was in Italy over the weekend to have a look at Roma’s former Liverpool left-back John Arne Riise and it remains to be seen whether it is he or Kinnear who decides on signings. Kinnear is adamant he will have the final say on all transfers, but former manager Kevin Keegan said the same before quitting in protest at boardroom control of the recruitment process.

 

Having delivered a couple of red herrings in recent weeks – first insisting he was after two players from Italy before claiming the two he was actually pursuing are playing in Holland – Kinnear has now declared former Porto defender Mareque, who plays in Argentina, is his number one target.

 

He said: “Lucas Mareque is a player we are looking to bring in from Independiente in the January transfer window and we are trying to find out what that would entail,” Kinnear told The People. “He is 6ft

 

2ins and height is something we could do with in our back four.

 

“We have looked at the way our own Argentinians, Jonás Gutiérrez and Fabricio Coloccini have settled in and we have spoken to them about Mareque and they have given us glowing reports.”

 

It would not come as much of a surprise if none of the three full-backs mentioned by Kinnear ended up at St James’s Park next month as the Newcastle boss is playing a game of cat and mouse with the media.

 

New faces are definitely needed, though, as Hughton revealed the players had been hit hard by Stoke’s late equaliser. He said: “Sometimes when you come to changing room in situations like this and you are bitterly disappointed, sometimes you don’t have to say too much, the players know themselves. They’re very aware, very angry and disappointed.

 

“I would put us in the same group as seven or eight teams at the moment, striving to pull clear of the bottom three. We’re not doing it because we’re not winning enough games. But there is a confidence we can get the two or three wins on the bounce which will take us away from the bottom.” Meanwhile, Kinnear could be hit with a four-game touchline ban and a hefty fine after he was sent off by referee Mike Riley for verbally abusing the linesman who awarded the free-kick which led to Stoke’s equaliser.

 

The 61-year-old has already been charged with improper conduct by the FA this season after he labelled another referee, Martin Atkinson, “Mickey Mouse” after a 2-1 defeat at Fulham. The two charges could now be combined to run concurrently.

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Guest alex

Unless we actually flash the cash and buy a pretty good player, getting another CM won't do much much to help us stay up. Yes, we're short of bodies in there but we're equally short on quality. Unfortunately, I can't see us spending much in January.

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Unless we actually flash the cash and buy a pretty good player, getting another CM won't do much much to help us stay up. Yes, we're short of bodies in there but we're equally short on quality. Unfortunately, I can't see us spending much in January.

 

Aye it probably is wishful thinking.

 

January will see Kinnear week after week spouting shite about being so close to signing someone with it falling through at the last hurdle, with us bringing in a couple of unknowns on loan...

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Butt will be off so its only 1 in 1 out. We could do with replacing viduka, owen and harper too

In January? I'd rather they stayed and kept us up, then went for nowt in the summer as none of those would bring much money in next month due to their contract situation. I could see the board employing your thinking though.

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Butt will be off so its only 1 in 1 out. We could do with replacing viduka, owen and harper too

In January? I'd rather they stayed and kept us up, then went for nowt in the summer as none of those would bring much money in next month due to their contract situation. I could see the board employing your thinking though.

 

Agreed.

 

3 or 4 million or whatever ridiculous fees that are getting said for Owen are worth fuck all compared to the goals he potentially could score to keep us up.

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After a steady diet of pure drivel written in the press and the stream of absolute shite spouted by our "board" I don't even bother reading the rumours any more. :drinks:

 

 

Wow. I'm depressed.

 

 

 

 

 

:birthday:

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All of this falls down when you realise that Kinnear is in no way influencing transfers. It amazes me how stupid they think we are; if they actually want us to believe that they wouldn't back Keegan but are backing Joe Kinnear, then, it's amazing.

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Unless we actually flash the cash and buy a pretty good player, getting another CM won't do much much to help us stay up. Yes, we're short of bodies in there but we're equally short on quality. Unfortunately, I can't see us spending much in January.

 

CM has been a bugbear for so long it's just not funny any more. Be nice to see some new genuine quality in there, but the same could be said for several seasons now.

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Guest alex
Unless we actually flash the cash and buy a pretty good player, getting another CM won't do much much to help us stay up. Yes, we're short of bodies in there but we're equally short on quality. Unfortunately, I can't see us spending much in January.

 

CM has been a bugbear for so long it's just not funny any more. Be nice to see some new genuine quality in there, but the same could be said for several seasons now.

And, with that in mind, it should be no surprise we've struggled for a few seasons now. It's as important as any position on the pitch. Hardly fucking rocket science like.

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Yes we need those players but whether we get them (or any) is another thing. Also JFKs comment on not letting 1st team players go to get players in remains to be seen. If we just add to the first squad, then alls good. But I do fear seeing some key players being shipped out, or no players coming in. Then there are the matter of the contracts, thats a whole other problem right there. I can just see MA saying he expects lesser contracts to start being awarded and he trying to follow that suit paving the way for a bunch of players leaving on a free.

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Butt will be off so its only 1 in 1 out. We could do with replacing viduka, owen and harper too

 

aye our substitute goalkeeper is a huge priority in this next window you're right

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Butt will be off so its only 1 in 1 out. We could do with replacing viduka, owen and harper too

 

aye our substitute goalkeeper is a huge priority in this next window you're right

 

When we also have Krul?

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Who the fuck of any quality is going to come to a team fighting relegation and in turmoil? No fucka thats who, were fucked, end of.

 

See West Ham for examples.

West Ham paid silly money in terms of wages though.

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Who the fuck of any quality is going to come to a team fighting relegation and in turmoil? No fucka thats who, were fucked, end of.

 

See West Ham for examples.

West Ham paid silly money in terms of wages though.

 

Is Lucas Neill not on something like 70k :razz:

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Who the fuck of any quality is going to come to a team fighting relegation and in turmoil? No fucka thats who, were fucked, end of.

 

See West Ham for examples.

West Ham paid silly money in terms of wages though.

True, it was just a very quick way of answering Wacky's question. "Pricks like Lucas Neil" would have worked too.

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On the topic of West Hams signings.

 

Start praying we are not the relegation threatened side this season that signs Nigel fucking Quashie.

 

He always gets move in January...... :(

 

Scotland's finest ? :razz:

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