Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez must strengthen his defensive options
Newcastle United have already been extremely busy in the transfer market this summer. They have completed the signings of Matz Sels, Matt Ritchie and Dwight Gayle, and now Magpies boss Rafa Benitez will surely be looking to bolster his defensive options.
It may be hard to attract players of the calibre Benitez would like with the Tyneside club currently in England's second tier, so it might be sensible to sign an experienced defender on a short-term deal and then make a move for a younger model if and when they gain promotion back to the Premier League.
Here are three free agents who could make Newcastle a far more solid unit defensively:
Martin Demichelis, 35:
Martin Demichelis is available on a free transfer
The Argentine centre-back has just been released by Manchester City after spending three years with the club. He is an accomplished defender who has played at the highest level, with four Bundesliga titles, four German Cups, two English League Cups and a Premier League title to his name.
Although his performances for City in the second half of last season were questionable, his class is anything but. He has a fantastic ability to read the game and is comfortable receiving the ball to feet.
He could form a good partnership with his fellow countryman Fabricio Coloccini. Demichelis has 50 caps for Argentina - further evidence of his class - and would be a terrific acquisition for Newcastle.
Christopher Samba, 32:
Christoper Samba would bring leadership to the Newcastle side
The Congolese international has spent the last three seasons in Russia with Dynamo Moscow before his contract expired at the end of June.
He is a powerful and imposing centre-back whose game is ideally suited to the rigours of Championship football.
He spent five years at Blackburn Rovers, so is well accustomed to the English game.
At 32, he is still in the peak years for a defender, and would have a lot to offer Newcastle. He is renowned for his leadership qualities, and his presence at the back would give the Geordies a better chance at dealing with long-ball tactics they will no doubt face in the Championship.
Alex has spent time at some of Europe's best clubs
The Brazilian international has just been released from AC Milan and is available on a free transfer.
He has played for some of the world's most elite clubs, including Chelsea, PSG and most recently Milan and has been capped 15 times for Brazil, although his is no-nonsense style could be described as more British influenced than Brazilian.
At the age of 34, Alex will be looking for one last contract in his career, and Newcastle could be the ideal place for him to see out the footballing chapter of his life.
He spent five years at Chelsea and proved himself to be an extremely competent defender in the Premier league. He is fantastic in the air and a threat from corners and set-pieces.
He would be a real coup should Newcastle consider a move for the Brazilian.