Cheick Tiote started this season as one of the first names on the Newcastle United team-sheet, but doubts over his future have begun to emerge.
The Ivorian midfielder has been linked with a move away from St. James' Park for much of the season so far and these rumours are starting to grow in intensity.
With Arsenal reportedly interested in acquiring his services, as well as a number of club's across the continent, it may be that the Magpies are starting to make plans to replace him already.
The side have already proven that they can cover for Tiote when he is not in the team, with Mehdi Abeid's form since stepping in to replace him after injury excellent, but a new addition may be required in January if they are to lose the midfield enforcer permanently.
That should not be a problem, given the fee that are likely to receive from any interested club, and in this piece we take a look at three potential options the club could chase.
Mousa Dembele (Tottenham Hotspur)
The Tottenham Hotspur midfielder has been told that he can leave White Hart Lane at the next available opportunity and he could make a good option for the Mapgies.
Although he may not enjoy the physical battle as much as Tiote, he is a far better technician than the Ivory Coast international and his ability to dictate play could be a major asset for Newcastle.
Dembele's lack of mobility is sometimes a concern, but he would be surrounded by tireless workers Moussa Sissoko and Jack Colback at St. James' Park so that could allow him to thrive.
The Belgian international has struggled for form at Spurs in recent times, but he remains a fine player on his day and he could be a shrewd investment for Alan Pardew's men.
Nigel De Jong (AC Milan)
The Dutchman has experience of the Premier League and would be a like-for-like replacement for Tiote.
Likely to be available on a cheap-deal, as his contract expires at the San Siro next summer, he would bring a real presence to the Newcastle midfield.
A tough tackler, De Jong has played his part in a successful Premier League title campaign and his experience could be vital for this Magpies side as Pardew gives them a more youthful feel.
Yohan Cabaye (PSG)
Cabaye needs little introduction to the Newcastle supporters, who marvelled over his talents during his last spell at the club.
The Frenchman is out of favour and unhappy at PSG and his arrival could be made more likely be Tiote's departure.
At the moment, Tiote is one of the highest earners at St. James' Park and freeing up his wages could allow them to make room for the signing of Cabaye.
Although he would not represent a direct replacement, Abeid's form has suggested that he could easily step-up to hold a regular first-team place and having Cabaye's class available again would only improve Newcastle's chances of success.