EDDIE HOWE has been told he will almost certainly have to look abroad as he attempts to sign a proven replacement for injured striker Callum Wilson next month.

Newcastle United’s recruitment team have had to hastily redraw their plans for the January transfer window in the wake of Wilson’s calf injury, which was sustained in the first half of Monday’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United.

While Wilson’s situation is still being assessed, there is an acceptance that the England international will be sidelined for ‘months rather than weeks’, with his absence inflicting a huge blow to the Magpies’ hopes of survival.

Howe has spelled out the need to recruit a replacement next month, but whereas the Newcastle boss had previously said he wanted to prioritise players with extensive Premier League experience, there is an acceptance it will be all-but-impossible to recruit a proven goalscorer from a team in the English top-flight.

Instead, Newcastle’s recruitment team will be focusing their attention on the European market, with the likeliest scenario a season-long loan with a view to a potential permanent signing in the summer if the Magpies retain their Premier League status.

Prior to Wilson hobbling off on Monday, the majority of Newcastle’s pre-January preparation work had been centred on trying to improve the defence, and moves for reinforcements for the backline remain in the offing.

Atletico Madrid’s Kieran Trippier could become the first signing of the Magpies’ new Saudi Arabia-backed era as soon as next week, with talks over the England international having reached an advanced stage.

Atletico officials have indicated a willingness to allow Trippier to leave, and mindful of the need to play regular football ahead of next autumn’s World Cup in Qatar, the right-back is ready to return to the Premier League with Newcastle.

Howe remains extremely interested in Nathan Ake, with the centre-half having made just four Premier League starts for Manchester City this season.