Eddie Howe has hinted that Newcastle United will prioritise signing a new striker in January - if Callum Wilson is sidelined for a lengthy period.
The Magpies’ top scorer is visiting a specialist to determine the full extent of his calf injury, which he picked up during the 1-1 draw with Manchester United.
Howe admitted he is yet to receive a “clear diagnosis” on the 29-year-old amid fears he could be out of action the majority, if not the rest of the campaign.
With Dwight Gayle, who has made just four substitute appearances this term, the club’s only fit recognised senior striker, Howe would be left extremely light in attack.
The problem Howe is facing however, is recruiting a centre-forward with a proven goalscoring record to fill the void left by Wilson.
Eddie Howe on Callum Wilson & new striker search
“We don’t have a clear diagnosis at the moment,” Howe said.
“Callum will have another scan very shortly to try and determine how long he’ll be out. There is still a little bit of grey over the length of time.
“Those results(of the scan) will possibly impact what we do but it’s all dependent on who’s available and who we can recruit.
“It’s probably the toughest position at any time of the year to recruit, the quality of players in that position really is very short on the ground.
“First and foremost, my thoughts are with Callum, I hope his injury isn’t serious and we can get him on the pitch as soon as possible as we know how important he is for us.
“And then, after that, we’ll make a decision.”
Eddie Howe: ‘We’re looking in every position’
There is a strong argument to say Newcastle should have been looking to sign a forward regardless of Wilson’s fitness given it is an area short of bodies.
The fact Wilson is facing a spell on the sidelines only increases the priority to land a player in that position.
NewcastleWorld understands a central defender and a striker is next on the new owners’ agenda.
Howe added: “We’re looking in every position. In football, you never know what’s around the corner and you have to be prepared for every eventuality.
“It’s a position we’re constantly monitoring. Whether we’ll do business in that area, I don’t know.
“The key thing from my perspective is bringing in a player who can make a difference to the team.
“Whether it’s short-term or long-term, I have to see a vision for them getting in the team at some point and that’s very hard to do in this window, it’s really tough.”