Newcastle United looking for two summer signings

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Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew is on the look out for two new players this summer to ensure an improvement on his side's 16th place Premier League finish last season. 

With financial constraints likely to be in place on Pardew's recruitment after a heavy January spending-spree, the 51 year-old is hoping that a couple of quality additions will be all he needs to turn around the club's fortunes. 

After the well-publicised 'French Revolution' at the turn of the year that saw the arrival of the likes of Moussa Sissoko, Yoan Gouffran, Mapou Yanga-Mbwia, Massadio Haidara and Mathieu Debuchy, the Magpies boss believes that his squad now has quality in depth, and lacks just the one or two players that would help them return to the top-half of the league table. 

With Demba Ba's departure to Chelsea in January, and Fabricio Coloccini's seemingly inevitable exit this summer, club scouts are said to specifically be on the look out for both a striker and a central defender. 

One of Newcastle's biggest issues last season was their lack of goals. Ba was their highest scorer with 13 and he departed soon after Christmas, leaving his side too dependant on a struggling Papiss Cisse, who managed to find the net just eight times in 36 league games. 

With Hatem Ben Arfa on the side-lines for much of the season due to injury and Yohan Cabaye often marked out of game's by wary opposition, United's attacking play was often disjointed and slow.  

Derby County's 18 year-old 'wonder-kid' Will Hughes, who has so far played either out wide or in midfield, remains on the Pardew shopping list - but with Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and even Barcelona amongst the circling vultures they could well be bid out of the market.

Interest also appears to have cooled in regard to several earlier targets, including Blackpool youngster Tom Ince, Braga striker Eder and St' Etienne's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the subject of two failed bids in January, who now looks set for a move to Germany with either Bayer Leverkusen or Borussia Dortmund.

Club chiefs have also revealed that a defender remains a priority, regardless of whether skipper Coloccini decides to move on. United shipped 68 goals last season, eight more than bottom of the table QPR and only one less than the other two relegated sides - Wigan Athletic and Reading.

Funds are likely to be raised by the moving on of several fringe players. Goalkeeper Steve Harper and defender Danny Simpson have already been released while United are open to offers for the likes of Mike Williamson and Dan Gosling. 

A decision will be made on young stars Sammy Ameobi, Shane Ferguson, James Tavernier and Haris Vuckic after an evaluation has been made on their progress during pre-season.

However, Pardew has reiterated his desire to keep his side's biggest name's, commenting that it would take a "game-changing offer" to tempt the club into selling.  

United seem set to take a strong squad with them on a pre-season tour in Portugal, as they prepare for the new season - with both Braga and Sporting Lisbon mooted as possible opponents.   

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