Date: 20th December 2005 at 12:42pm
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Chairman Freddy Shepherd has told Souey to off-load fringe players before he can splash the cash in January.

I’m sure it is no shock to Graeme Souness, but it scuppers the media – the Newcastle manager will miss out in January when the transfer window opens because of the money paid for Michael Owen.

The gaffa will only be able to draft players in on loan, and apparently Wayne Bridge and Robert Huth are on the shopping list. Whether Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is willing to loan out two of his squad players is yet to be known. But I doubt it.

Souness has been told by chairman Freddie Shepherd there is no big money to spend after he splashed out £50million on the likes of Emre, Michael Owen and Albert Luque. So that rules out any chance of a move for Nicolas Anelka.

After missing out on him last summer, Souness was hoping to make a renewed attempt to land the Frenchman as he looks to find someone to replace Alan Shearer. But with Shearer ready and able … for the next five months … Souness is in no desperate rush to sign a quality striker.

However, defence is an area the boss definately wants to strengthen and he is known to have an eye on Bridge.