Newcastle United latest: First signing close, club urged to spend £40m

All the latest news, views and transfer rumours from St. James' Park...

Whilst the season is over and Newcastle can look ahead to next season, the fans have been considering who was to blame for their terrible campaign. With six defeats in their last seven games, the pressure really built on manager Alan Pardew but in a poll run by local newspaper Evening Chronicle, the beleaguered Magpies boss only came third in terms of culpability.

The lack of investment in new players was seen as the biggest reasons for Newcastle's mid-season collapse, whilst owner Mike Ashley was deemed second-most culpable. Joe Kinnear and the scouting network also received some of the blame, whilst some simply thought it was bad luck.

No matter who you blame for Newcastle's problems, things simply have to change on Tyneside and former Magpies chairman Freddie Shepherd has encouraged the club to spend up to £40m this summer in order to solve the many problems at St. James' Park.

"They need to spend as much as possible. You can never have enough money. When I was chairman we spent £300m and got into Europe and went to Wembley but we didn't win anything. We really need to spend as much as £30-40m to bring in a couple of good strikers and a couple of good defenders," said Shepherd.

It seems Newcastle are on the verge of their first signing of the summer, with Tenerife striker Ayoze Perez widely expected to be arriving in the North East soon. With a £1.8m release clause in the 20-year-old's contract, Perez comes relatively cheaply and will be hoping to match his goalscoring feats from Spain in the Premier League.

Newcastle are in dire need of striking help having struggled to hit the back of the net, and with Loic Remy's loan deal from Queens Park Rangers now over and Shola Ameobi set to leave the club, Perez could be pressed into first team action immediately.

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