The former England boss now has to overhaul the squad on Tyneside, with defensive options needed having conceded 63 goals this past season - second only to relegated Queens Park Rangers.
Now, The Mirror believe that McClaren has set his sights on Brighton and Hove Albion star Dunk, who has spent his entire career with his hometown club, save for a loan spell with Bristol City in 2013.
The 23-year-old, who stands at 6ft 4in, was a regular for the Seagulls this past season, even managing to contribute an impressive seven goals from defence.
The report states that McClaren wanted to sign Dunk whilst he was Derby County manager, but remains a big fan of the player - and will now look to bring him to the North East.
However, Brighton are believed to value Dunk at around £5m, which could put the Magpies off considering his lack of Premier League experience, but with potential and proven quality in the Championship, Dunk could give the Newcastle defence some much-needed youth having witnessed veterans Fabricio Coloccini and Mike Williamson struggle under John Carver.
The Mirror also suggest that Everton, West Ham United and West Bromwich Albion are interested in Dunk too, meaning the Magpies may need to move quickly to secure his signature.