There is an acceptance the January window does not necessarily represent the best market value by those at the top of the club, and that is a view shared by Steve Bruce, who has repeatedly attempted to dampen expectations with his ‘difficult time to deal’ comments.
But that has not stopped Newcastle United chiefs identifying a dynamic central midfielder as a priority this window.
Injury and illness has hit United’s central ranks hard over the last few months with Jonjo Shelvey, Jeff Hendrick, Isaac Hayden, Matty Longstaff and Sean Longstaff all spending spells on the sidelines.
Even when all are fit and firing, there is an acceptance the Magpies are still lacking dynamism in that department.
With United working primarily in the loan market, filling that void may prove difficult.
As per reports elsewhere United are understood to have been offered the chance to sign out-of-favour Leicester City midfielder Hamza Choudhury.
West Brom are also thought to be keen on the 23-year-old former England under-21 international.
The younger of the Longstaff brothers, Matty, had been a loan target of a host of Championship clubs this month, but it remains to be seen whether Bruce will allow the 20-year-old to leave having recently established himself as first-choice in central midfield with dynamic shows against Man City and Liverpool, then tiring badly against the Foxes last time out.