Big Sam wants big stoppers

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Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce admits bringing in some more defenders is a must before the start of the new season.

Defending has been the Achilles heel of The Magpies for some time and despite the additions of David Rozehnal and Geremi, Allardyce is still not content.

The former Bolton boss wants sign a couple of powerful stoppers capable of competing in the Premier League every week.

"What we need now particularly is defenders and quality defenders at that," Allardyce said on Sky Sports News. "That is my only key concern at the moment.

"The players that are here are progressing nicely but the concern is that we must find some big, strong, experienced, good defenders."

Allardyce has revealed he has missed out on a number of his targets already this summer, with some joining Premier League rivals.

Nevertheless, he is confident of being able to strengthen his Newcastle squad prior to 11th August.

"Many targets are coming and going now and more and more people are actively moving into the transfer market," Allardyce added.

"Some of our targets have gone in this country already but there will be plenty more coming up between now and August."

Potential targets are reportedly Italian international duo Fabio Cannavaro and Andrea Barzagli, but Allardyce ruled out any 'galactico' type signings.

"We are all hoping we can move in the transfer market and bring some good players to the football club.

"I am not talking about the 'galactico' stars that are being mentioned - that is just a nonsense at the moment.

"We need three or four solid, very, very good defenders from wherever it may be, and we will be a force this year.

"But we need to get them first. If he wants to give me a little gift after with a galactico, I won't say no."

Meanwhile, Joey Barton aims to be playing regular European football with Newcastle in the not too distant future in order to boost his England hopes.

"First and foremost, it is vitally important to do well for Newcastle United," the midfielder told the club's official website.

"If England honours follow, I will be very honoured. As a professional, you always strive to play at the highest level.

"But first and foremost, it is more about playing in Europe every season with Newcastle."