Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley to splash the cash

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NEWCASTLE owner Mike Ashley will splash the cash this summer – but strengthening has been put on hold while new director of football Joe Kinnear carries out his review of the first-team squad, writes Ross Gregory.

The Magpies have rejected the chance to sign two defenders on free transfers – Twente’s Douglas and Reading’s Alex Pearce – as Kinnear assesses the players already on board.

Manager Alan Pardew had hoped to sign a commanding centre-half this summer, but captain Fabricio Coloccini has since commited his future to the club after it was initially feared he would leave the club this summer.

That leaves Newcastle with the Argentinian, plus Steven Taylor, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Mike Williamson and James Perch all capable of playing in central defence.

While that situation could change if Williamson – linked with Cardiff – or Perch leaves before the start of the new season, it appears that strengthening the rearguard is on hold anyway.

Ashley sanctioned a £20million spending spree in January on five French players when Newcastle’s Premier League future appeared in doubt.

And Kinnear says the owner is prepared to buy again to help the Magpies challenge for trophies.

Kinnear said: “Mike wants us to be successful. He wants us to do something here.

“He doesn’t want us to be in the position we were in last season.”

Kinnear added: “I’ll be the one who sits down with Alan Pardew and says ‘let’s get this guy’. I’ll be talking to the chief scout as well.”

The Magpies pulled out of a deal to sign Brazilian star Douglas, who was available on a Bosman free transfer this summer, while deciding against signing Pearce, who has penned a two-year contract to stay at relegated Reading.