Joe Kinnear said yesterday that after a meeting with Newcastle United's managing director Derek Llambias this week, and a conversation with owner Mike Ashley, he may be given £12m to spend on "two or three" players in the January transfer window.
Given that Newcastle are up for sale and that a fortnight ago Kinnear talked of wanting two "£10m" players in Italy, these transfers may not occur. But Kinnear made his point with conviction.
"I put the case for bringing players in and we are talking to some players and their agents and clubs," Kinnear said. "We have to be ready when the window opens. I have given them the prices. I told them two players who cost £6m each. He [Mike] said, 'Fine, leave it with me. I will come back to you'. There are players available who will help us and we will have to wait and see. Mike was fine with it.
"The last meeting I had with Mike, I said, 'You have got to protect your investment. We can do something about it.' We have got to stay in the league and we can have a good Cup run. The point I made was that he can't lose from that investment. You will only gain from it."
There was less cheer from Kinnear on the subject of the seven players whose deals expire next summer. He has spoken to the agents of some of those players, but the message is that players will "wait and see" before making any decisions on their futures.