Newcastle United are already drawing up plans for January’s transfer window – and there will be outgoings as well as incomings.
The Magpies are facing another relegation battle after an eight-game winless start to the Premier League season.
And there are issues that need to be addressed on and off the pitch if the Tynesiders are to climb the table.
Newcastle invested £50million in players in the summer, but the bottom-placed club is ready to spend more when the transfer window reopens.
But, significantly, there will also be outgoings, and there are question marks over the futures of a number of senior players, including Cheick Tiote and Papiss Cisse, ahead of the January window.
For his part, head coach Steve McClaren only wants players who are fully committed to the cause.
And a planned review of the Magpies’ summer transfer business, involving McClaren, managing director Lee Charnley and chief scout Graham Carr, has been given an added urgency by the black and whites’ predicament.
United could also be prepared to make exceptions to the policy of only recruiting players in their early to mid-20s – often with no Premier League experience.
McClaren had been keen for Newcastle to sign QPR striker Charlie Austin in the summer, but the club baulked at his £15million transfer fee.
However, the 26-year-old remains on Newcastle’s “radar”, according to McClaren, and the club is likely to look more at the British market in January, despite the premium clubs have to pay for domestic talent.
A new multi-billion pound Premier League TV deal kicks in next season, and the financial imperative of top-flight survival could see previous checks and balances on the Magpies’ recruitment over-ridden.
Meanwhile, keeper Rob Elliot – back to full fitness – is determined to play his part in trying to keep Newcastle up.
He said of the Magpies’ winless start: “It’s been a bit frustrating. It’s not through lack of effort. I think it’s a case of trying to get the balance right.
“It’s a disappointing start. All we can do is put it right and hopefully kick on.”