Newcastle United intend to bring in at least two players in the January transfer window.

The two positions the club are most desperate to fill are a central midfielder/playmaker and another striker.

The Chronicle say that their information is that meetings have taken place and there is an acceptance that these two signings are essential, as the current group of players have been found wanting.

With Steve McClaren unable to so far get the improvement from the current squad that Mike Ashley and his minions had expected/hoped for.

However, the newspaper also reports that these new signings will only happen if the club can successfully shift some of the non-productive high earning players in the squad.

The two mentioned as likely being at the top of this list are Papiss Cisse and Siem de Jong.

The Senegalese striker has seemingly been up for sale for some time but with no one willing to meet Mike Ashley’s valuation. With clubs always ready to take a chance on somebody with a record of scoring goals, it would surely be possible to shift him on – if Ashley accepts a realistic offer.

With Siem de Jong though, you would find it very hard to imagine anybody taking a risk on buying a player who looks to be having serious issues with getting back to full fitness after two years of countless illness and injury problems.

Yet again, when he got onto the pitch against Stoke City he found it all but impossible to get into the game as it passed him by, totally off the pace despite being a ‘fresh’ pair of legs.

At best, you could only imagine any interested club taking Siem de Jong on an initial loan, giving him a chance to prove himself. This would only save Newcastle some or all of his wages, plus possibly a small loan fee, not really making a big dent in the kind of money almost certainly needed to bring the kind of quality striker and playmaker Newcastle will be looking for.

The problem always comes that if you are looking to shift players to raise money and/or create space in your squad, other clubs want your best players (Perez, Sissoko…?), not the liabilities you are looking to get rid of.

The Chronicle also say that privately Steve McClaren has made clear to the club that he wants to bring in more experienced players.

If/when signings are made, it may tell us a lot about how long-term Mike Ashley sees McClaren in the job, it if is more of the same of young hope to improve in value players, then it could be the final nail in the Head Coach appearing to have any influence in the transfer ins and outs at St James Park.