Papiss Cisse is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines with fresh reports emerging that the Senegalese forward may need surgery on the groin injury sustained against Aston Villa last month.
The 30-year-old has fallen down the pecking order since Aleksandar Mitrovic arrived on Tyneside, which has led to speculation surrounding his future.
Many expected Cisse to depart in January for Turkish giants Galatasaray, though any potential move will be put on hold until he is fully fit again.
Jack Gaughan of The Mail reports that Newcastle will look to resolve their goalscoring woes by returning for QPR striker Charlie Austin.
The Magpies have been monitoring Austin since QPR sealed their relegation fate towards the tail end of last season, but the clubs could not agree on a fee in the summer – with the Hoops desperate to retain their top scorer.
Whether this story has any substance or is just another news outlet jumping on the Austin bandwagon is yet to become clear, but Steve McClaren has certainly made it clear that a striker is on his agenda this month.
After his side’s 1-0 defeat to Arsenal on Saturday, McClaren told reporters: “We’ve been working behind the scenes, and we will carry on doing that tirelessly.”
“The business that we are going to do will stay private, within the four walls.
When we’ve got something to tell you, you’ll know.
“I think if we’d have had Olivier Giroud (against Arsenal), we’d have comfortably won the game. That’s the difference in football.
“You’re always searching for that, but unfortunately at the present moment, Riviere is injured or, at least, coming back from injury, and Papiss Cisse, who is a goalscorer, is injured for the next two or three months.