Newcastle boss Glenn Roeder is set to make improvements to his defence.
Roeder will address his side's weakest point at the end of the season with out of contract duo Titus Bramble and Craig Moore and loan signing Oguchi Onyewu unlikely to be offered new deals.
Whilst the manager is keen to make significant changes to the back, reliable goalkeeper Shay Given, who is in his 10th season at St James' Park, will remain ever-present in the side with the equally competent Steve Harper as his back-up.
"There are parts of the team that quite obviously need to be strengthened, and there is no doubt about it, we need to strengthen in that area," Roeder said.
"We have one of the best three or four goalkeepers in Europe and he is asked at times to make too many saves.
"It is an area we are not strong in and I have been looking in that area of the team to strengthen.
"If you look at next year, Michael Owen, Obafemi Martins, Shola Ameobi, Antoine Sibierski, Kieron Dyer if we need him, the top half of the team looks very, very strong.
"In midfield, we are not too badly off, so before we move to any other part of the squad, I want to strengthen the defensive part first.
"Defensively we let too many poor goals in. I cannot honestly put my hands in the air and concede that many goals where we could not have done anything about it.
"We have contributed to too many of the goals we have conceded and that has to stop. That will stop with players of better quality. That is the first area of the team I would like to improve."