Date: 18th December 2006 at 10:55pm
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The January transfer window is only a matter of weeks away and Toon fans will be eager to see if Glenn Roeder will be permitted to fork out on some badly needed reinforcements.

But despite Newcastle`s lengthy injury list the only things that looks certain is the departure of two players.

With Man U seemingly unwilling to extend Rossi`s period as North East bench-warmer of the year and Roeder keen to let Luque move on, Newcastle find themselves in the market for a striker for the second transfer window in a row.

Then, of course, there`s the seemingly constant search for defenders. Certainly Taylor has proved his potential so far this season, but the fact that Paul Huntington is having to deputise at right-back shows just how thin the squad is.

And let`s not forget the problem that is Celestine Babayaro. Admittedly his booing at recent home games could be viewed as a little harsh, but it`s clear that he`s the weakest link in the side.

He can`t pass, can`t tackle and has no positional sense. Other than that he`s the perfect left back. And with him turning in substandard performances week in and week out you have to wonder what`s wrong with Olivier Bernard.

So new signings are needed and badly. But with transfer funds rumoured to be limited to £10 million it`s likely that any new players will be stop gaps rather than the world class players we`ll all be hoping for. And so it seems we have to put up with links to the same old names.

Mark Viduka is being linked strongly with the club again, but surely must be past his best. And anyway fat Australians should really stick to playing cricket.

James Beattie is another player consistently linked with a move to St James`s and whilst it`s true to say that he`s never quite lived up to the potential he showed at Southampton, Roeder may feel that his aerial ability makes him the perfect foil for Martins.