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Roeder ready to strike out

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Newcastle boss Glenn Roeder will go on the attack as he strengthens his squad.

 

Following talks with chairman Freddy Shepherd, Roeder has decided the main focus has to be in the final third of the pitch.

 

With skipper Alan Shearer now retired and youngster Michael Chopra looking certain to leave after being linked with Cardiff, Barnsley and Crystal Palace, Roeder could find himself down to two strikers - Michael Owen and Shola Ameobi.

 

Albert Luque's failure to establish himself since his £9.5million move from Deportivo la Coruna has left his future in doubt.

 

Shepherd said: "After discussing things with the manager, we know what we want and need - and we are on the look-out for attacking players for next season."

 

Shepherd is not about to reveal his targets, although the Magpies have been watching developments with Manchester United's Ruud van Nistelrooy.

 

Roeder will watch Feyenoord's Dirk Kuyt during Holland's World Cup finals campaign.

 

However, there is little prospect of Craig Bellamy returning to Tyneside despite a clause in his contract which will allow him to leave Blackburn for £6million.

 

The Welshman was shown the door by then manager Graeme Souness last summer and has prospered at Ewood Park.

 

Newcastle are also keeping an eye on Chelsea winger Shaun Wright-Phillips as they look to add further support from midfield.

 

The situations surrounding James Milner and Nicky Butt, who spent last season on loan at Aston Villa and Birmingham respectively, need to be resolved, while the positions of Luque and £8million signing Jean-Alain Boumsong remain uncertain.

 

Neither played a significant part in the final stages of last season's successful drive for Europe.

 

The huge transfer fees the club paid mean they would need healthy returns on their investment, and the lucrative contracts both are on could put off purchasers.

 

Roeder was expected to recruit a central defender - a pay-as-you-play deal for former star Jonathan Woodgate remains a possibility, although nothing is in place - although he now appears to be concentrating on other areas.

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We definitely need 2 strikers and we do need some more attacking options from midfield but we also really need a LB and if Boom is hopefully shifted then we need another CB as well.

 

And with Clark nearly retired and Faye plus Butt hopefully being shifted, with doubt over Bowyer and other players being injury prone we need another central midfielder as well.

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