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Newcastle owner Ashley plans summer overhaul

GOALSPECIAL REPORT    By Graeme Bailey     Follow on Twitter

Mike Ashley is planning a summer overhaul at Newcastle United despite continued resistance to his ownership of the club from its supporters.

Thousands of Newcastle fans boycotted the 3-1 defeat to Tottenham at St James' Park on Sunday in the latest of several protests against Ashley.

But Goal understands Ashley is still ready to spend big in the summer, while a handful of prized assets could also be made available for transfer.

Premier League clubs are set to profit significantly from the £5.14 billion TV rights deal which takes effect from 2016, and Ashley anticipates foreign markets for players becoming inflated, with Newcastle having made signings predominantly from France, the Netherlands and Germany over the last three summers.

As such, the Magpies owner believes this summer represents an opportunity to overhaul the first team squad, and will trust managing director Lee Charnley and chief scout Graham Carr with the recruitment process.

Goal has learned that Newcastle would also consider selling Moussa Sissoko, who was linked with a move away from the club in January, while centre-back Fabricio Coloccini and goalkeeper Tim Krul could also be available.

A source told Goal: “Mike is a very smart businessman and has looked at how the player market could spiral up and up, and with that in mind he is ready to plunge extra funds into the club this summer.”

Newcastle are set to appoint a new manager in the summer, with Derby boss Steve McClaren understood to be in pole position to take over at St James' Park. Current caretaker boss John Carver is not thought to be in the running.

The Magpies have won just two out of 15 games under Carver, with Sunday's home defeat to Tottenham their sixth loss in a row.

The club released an official attendance figure of 47,427 - a season low - after that encounter, a number that factored in season ticket holders and all other tickets sold. It has been suggested that only around 30,000 spectators actually attended the game.

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