ALAN Pardew needs a Newcastle United squad capable of competing at home and abroad next season – and the club’s transfer strategy is close to being finalised.
However, there will be outgoings as well as incomings at St James’s Park this summer.
Pardew has held a series of strategy meetings with the club’s hierarchy in recent months.
United’s summer plans will be finalised at the end of the season, with the club, which wraps up its campaign at Everton on Sunday, still having a chance of qualifying for the Champions League, which could strengthen Pardew’s hand in the market.
At least one defensive arrival is expected, with FC Twente’s Douglas and PSV Eindhoven’s Erik Pieters understood to be targets.
And Reims midfielder Romain Amalfitano, 22, has reportedly already agreed a three-year deal.
However, there will also be departures, with Aston Villa-target Danny Guthrie certain to leave.
And striker Leon Best’s future also in doubt.
Guthrie hasn’t been involved in recent weeks despite recovering from a calf injury, and the midfielder didn’t join his team-mates for the post-match lap of appreciation after Sunday’s defeat to Manchester City.
The 25-year-old, out of contract at the end of the season, was involved in talks over a new deal earlier in the season, but discussions were eventually shelved until the summer.
Guthrie has grown increasingly frustrated at a lack of opportunities, his appearances having been limited by the form of Yohan Cabaye and Cheik Tiote.
And Best - who has recovered from the knee injury which has sidelined him since February - hasn’t made Pardew’s last two squads, having been an unused substitute at Wigan Athletic.
The 25-year-old was a key figure for Pardew in the first half of the season.
The Republic of Ireland international – who yesterday missed out on a place in Giovanni Trappatoni’s Euro 2012 squad - told of his intention to play again before the end of the campaign.
However, Best isn’t expected to be involved in United’s final game against Everton at Goodison Park.
The club will also listen to offers for striker Nile Ranger, who has been on loan at Sheffield Wednesday.
Defender James Tavernier, recalled from a loan spell at MK Dons last month, is waiting to hear whether he will be offered a new deal.
Tavernier, 20, has earned praise from Pardew this season, and it would be a surprise if he wasn’t part of his long-term plans.
Meanwhile, 19-year-old Melbourne Heart defender Curtis Good – who had a trial at the club recently - is waiting to hear whether he will be invited back to the club.
The club is revamping its development squad this season after a decision was made to release the bulk of Willie Donachie’s players, and Pardew is keen to bring in at least two younger defenders.