Transfer activity in the January window comes at a premium and Newcastle United are finding it out the hard way.

Rafa Benitez has highlighted the areas that need improvements – central midfield and on the wing – and his scouting team have highlighted a list of potential targets. The only thing preventing the Magpies boss from landing these targets is the astronomical prices being quoted.

George Caulkin of The Times last night revealed Newcastle were quoted £20million by Fulham for midfielder Tom Cairney – a far cry from the £4million he was signed for. The Magpies are no longer pursuing the 25-year-old.

Newcastle have turned their attentions to other targets, including Premier League duo Tom Cleverley of Everton and Ruben Loftus-Cheek of Chelsea, but even these deals come with complications.

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Cleverley looked set to join Newcastle at one point, but the latest from the Shields Gazette says otherwise. Everton are keen on offloading Cleverley permanently this month, paving the way for a move for Morgan Schneiderlin of Manchester United. However, Benitez is only interested in signing for the England international on loan, throwing the deal into doubt.

Loftus-Cheek, on the other hand, has thrown up different complications. Chelsea are keen for the youngster to go out on loan, and Newcastle’s offer is acceptable, but Antonio Conte is holding out for a suitor offering first-team football in the Premier League.

Benitez is prepared to play the waiting game and will not be forced into any panic signings this month.

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Manchester City outcast Fabian Delph is another potential target, but the player may take some convincing that dropping down to the Championship is the best move for his career.