NEWCASTLE UNITED will step up their search for a new striker with the Magpies linked once again with Luuk de Jong this month.
Alan Pardew revealed in the run-up to Saturday's 2-1 third round home defeat by Cardiff that a striker was his priority during the current transfer window, with Loic Remy only on loan from QPR and Shola Ameobi out of contract at the end of the season.
Pardew wishes to augment his strikeforce with a player of de Jong’s calibre, and, after missing out on the 23-year-old last summer, the Magpies are ready to test Borussia Monchengladbach’s resolve with an opening bid.
Pardew tried to sign de before he made a £12.6million switch from FC Twente to the Bundesliga club during the summer of 2012, but, while that interest is genuine, the Dutchman is one of a series of options currently under consideration, and that any deal is far from done.
Newcastle have also been linked with a temporary move to bring former frontman Demba Ba back from Chelsea, although a previous attempt to do so fell down on financial grounds.
In addition, the club has drawn up contingency plans should they receive an offer they cannot refuse for one of their star players, with France midfielder Yohan Cabaye at the top of that list.
But Pardew has spoken of his confidence in recent weeks that the former Lille man will remain on board ahead of a summer trip to the World Cup finals in Brazil.
Long-time admirers Arsenal and Paris St Germain have already suggested they will not be moving for him this time around, although the 52-year-old Pardew will not be able to relax until the deadline passes.
In the meantime, he will spend the week attempting to repair the damage of a missed opportunity in the FA Cup after watching his side surrender a lead to bow out of the competition at the first hurdle for the third time in four attempts during his reign.
They will resume their league campaign on Sunday when title contenders Manchester City head for St James' Park, and Pardew and his players will be keen to avenge the 4-0 defeat they suffered at the Etihad Stadium on the opening weekend of the season.
However, that may be easier said than done with City having ended Newcastle's Capital One Cup hopes with a 2-0 fourth round victory on Tyneside in October.
The manager said: "That seems a long way away, Manchester City, it's a whole week and we have got to get over the disappointment of this first."
Meanwhile, it has emerged that Fabricio Coloccini may miss out on February 1’s Tyne-Wear derby with the Argentinian defender expected to be out for five weeks.
Pardew said that the Newcastle captain may be out between four and six weeks, and SportsDirect News claimed he would be out for five, reporting that sources within St James’ Park had confirmed the figure to the in-house website for the sportswear firm owned by Mike Ashley - which would rule him out of the Sunderland game at Gallowgate.