How Newcastle, Sunderland and Boro must spend their cash this summer
King Kev must discover what defenders are used for
Invest in the defence – You can pretty much guarantee this is at the top of Newcastle’s list every summer, but whoever they bring in seems to flop. In Michael Owen, Obafemi Martins and Mark Viduka they have a well-balanced strike trio, although they could use someone new to provide backup alongside Andy Carroll. The midfield may require one or two new faces should Emre, Barton or Milner leave.
Fitting the bill: Anton Ferdinand, Mikael Silvestre (if Barton leaves), Steve Finnan
A new transfer strategy – Sunderland’s last two Premier League seasons saw them relegated with record low points totals (now broken by Derby) and it took over £40 million of spending to finish in 15th this time round. Last season Sunderland spoke loudly about their big budget, which led to them paying over the odds for average players like Michael Chopra, Kieran Richardson and Andy Reid. A bit more tact this summer may see them continue to strength but without being taken to the cleaners, though rumours of a £5 million bid for James Beattie don’t offer much hope.
Fitting the bill: Michael Dawson, Stephen Hunt, Pedro Mendes, Carlton Cole
A replacement for Mark Schwarzer – Gareth Southgate’s side aren’t expected to spend as heavily as their neighbours, but they did surprise everyone by bringing in Afonso Alves in January, so they may catch others off guard again. Southgate has admitted he isn’t looking to change things too drastically due to his faith in the squad.
Fitting the bill: Carlo Cudicini, Scott Carson, Tomasz Kuszczak