Date: 31st December 2018 at 9:47am
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There is evidently a need for Newcastle United to dip their toe in the January transfer window but when Rafael Benitez is battling against an owner who refuses to reach into his pocket, the Spaniard is going to have to scour the market for bargain deals.

It appears as though Mike Ashley is set to stay on Tyneside into the new year and that means the Magpies are set for yet another transfer window of minimal spending.

Last January saw three loanees arrive at St James’ Park – Kenedy, Martin Dubravka and Islam Slimani – and the Toon Army should not expect to see their side spending any meaningful amount of money in 2019 – so what about a free agent swoop?

Premier League legend Yaya Toure – who has three top flight trophies to his name among a whole host of silverware – is up for grabs after Olympiakos chose to cancel his deal in Greece, and has reportedly returned to England to seal a move to a side in England’s elite.

With Newcastle lacking a natural ball carrier in the midfield as well as someone who can link up the central players and the attack, Toure is the sort of ambitious signing which can transform their fortunes in the new year.

Said to be on a pay-as-you-play deal in Greece, the same sort of terms would work brilliantly for Newcastle, who can call upon him as and when he is needed – which at the moment appears to be more often than not.

It is not every day that a hero for both his club and country becomes available and having dazzled fans in the north west for years, he can do the same in the north east this season.