Published 13/01/2012 | 13:17
Newcastle are thought to have made initial contact over the potential £300,000 capture of Dutch goalkeeper Robbin Ruiter. The FC Volendam shot stopper could play second fiddle to fellow countryman Tim Krul should he make a move. Championship leaders Southampton are also rumoured to be interested in the 24-year-old.
Centre-back Jan Vertonghen helped Ajax win the Eredivisie title last season and is due to face Manchester United in the Europa League in February. But, Newcastle are allegedly preparing a £10m bid for the player who was initially signed to replace Thomas Vermaelen for the Dutch giants. The Belgian international has 35 caps and is under contract at Ajax till 2013.
Newcastle have operated without a recognised left-back ever since Jose Enrique departed for Liverpool and Taye Taiwo has been reported as a target to fill that void. Ryan Taylor has been deputising in the position but it is believed Alan Pardew would welcome the AC Milan man to his squad. Taiwo is reportedly unhappy in Milan after being limited to only a handful of starts since his move from Marseille in the summer.
Newcastle could also attempt to ease the strain on their defence with a move for experienced Birmingham defender Liam Ridgewell. The championship club, who have now exited the Europa League, may be prepared to sell the defender in January with several clubs reportedly interested. Ridgewell requested a transfer after the clubs relegation from the Premier League last season and Newcastle could be keen to him to their squad.
Newcastle are reportedly tracking Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama, 20, should midfield dynamo Cheik Tiote leave the club. The Scottish club signed Wanyama for £1m from Belgian side Germinal Beerschot in the summer and Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has received glowing reports on the Kenyan's form.
Dijon midfielder Benjamin Corgnet has been targeted by Pardew after a sublime start to the Ligue 1 season. The 24-year-old could join a list of other notable signings from the French league which includes Yohan Cabaye, Hatem Ben Arfa and Sylvain Marveaux. Corgnet helped Dijon win promotion last season and has continued his fine form into this campaign.
Guingamp's 20-year-old winger Anthony Knockaert is another player to have been linked with a move to the Sports Direct Arena over the next month. Currently plying his trade in the French second tier, his skills have prompted Newcastle scouts to watch the French under-20 international. He has a record of four goals in nine appearances for the under 20's.
Newcastle officials have been at pains to distance themselves from repeated stories linking Andy Carroll with a return to the club and will instead look to the French market. The Magpies held extensive talks with Mevlut Erding during the summer but the deal fell through then because of financial differences. Now the 24-year-old Turkish international is concerned over his future at Paris-St Germain because of the impending influx of high-profile players and is ready to leave during the transfer window. That has prompted Newcastle's senior figures to prepare a second attempt to take the forward – who has scored only once in 17 appearances this term – to the North-east.
The Huddersfield striker Jordan Rhodes has been in inspired form in this term, scoring 27 goals already this season. He has been linked with a £4m-plus move to the Premier League and Newcastle scouts were in attendance when he scored five against Wycombe recently. The 21-year-old made his international debut for Scotland as a substitute in November.
The Magpies are looking to sign the promising 19-year-old Crystal Palace forward Wilfred Zaha after his impressive start to the season has led his side to the Carling Cup semi-finals. The £10m-rated teenage sensation put in an electrifying performance against Manchester United in their famous defeat of the Old Trafford club. The Daily Mail meanwhile reported that scout Peter Beardsley was left red-faced after discovering Zaha was suspended after a 600-mile scouting trip to watch him.
Newcastle could try and ease the workload on Demba Ba by signing Celtic striker Gary Hooper. It has been reported that the Magpies will go head to head with rivals Sunderland for the 23-year-old's signature. The former Spurs academy player signed for Celtic after impressing at Scunthorpe in 2010 and has been equally impressive in the Scottish Premier League over the past 18 months.
After a superb start to the season, aspirations have been lifted at the Sports Direct Arena and investment into the team will be welcomed by supporters hoping for European football into 2012.
Even though manager Alan Pardew said the search for a new striker had been abandoned after talks for Sochaux's Modibo Maiga collapsed, with prolific striker Demba Ba heading to the African Nations Cup, a replacement may be bought. And with the possibility of highly rated defensive midfielder Cheik Tiote leaving Tyneside for a Premier League rival may also force Pardew into finding an adequate replacement.
The injury crisis that ripped through the heart of the defence means signing a central defender is a priority.
Here, we round-up the players being linked with a possible move to Newcastle.