Football

Magpies spy Winter reinforcements

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Newcastle boss Joe Kinnear will dispatch his spies to watch a series of January targets this weekend after identifying the men he wants to drag the club out of trouble.

The 61-year-old met managing director Derek Llambias this week to discuss his winter recruitment drive after being handed the job until the end of the season.

Kinnear said: "We had a meeting during the week, a very positive meeting. I put a list of players in. At this moment in time, we are talking to numerous players.

Kinnear, who described their discussions as "positive", revealed that soundings have already been taken with several clubs over proposed moves, and he will have his scouting team out in force over the next few days.

He added: "We are trying to get things ready for as soon as the window opens.

"We have got two or three players being covered over the weekend. We have got two or three players who we have not only spoken to their agents, but also their clubs."

Kinnear confirmed last week that he had been told by owner Mike Ashley there would be funds available to strengthen the squad he inherited from Kevin Keegan next month, although it remains to be seen just how much spending power he will have.

He has also been given permission to open contract talks with the likes of skipper Michael Owen, Nicky Butt, Shola Ameobi and Steve Harper, whose current deals expire at the end of the campaign.

However, that process is still to start in earnest, and he confirmed that, despite speculation over Owen and keeper Shay Given in particular, there have been no enquiries about any members of his existing squad.

Kinnear said: "I will be addressing that, but I haven't got down to it yet. To be fair, nobody has come to see me. We haven't had any enquiries for any players, so I haven't had any questions to answer in that respect."

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Topics:
Football
Steve Harper
Michael Owen
Premier League
Newcastle United
Shay Given
Shola Ameobi
Nicky Butt
Kevin Keegan

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