Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has laughed off claims that he will try to sign England striker Wayne Rooney this summer.
A report on the Sports Direct news website, which is linked to club owner Mike Ashley's business, this week claimed preliminary talks had already taken place with the 27-year-old's future at Manchester United uncertain after he handed in a transfer request.
The story was quickly retracted and Pardew is not expecting the club to renew its interest in Rooney after making a failed £25million bid for him when he was a teenager. Pardew said: "When Demba [Ba] went in January and we didn't secure [Loic] Remy, it was obvious that we were going to need to bring in a striker or two in this summer window, and hopefully we can."
He added: "But Rooney won't be one of them, 100 per cent, I can assure you."
Pardew knows the inevitable inquest is unlikely to be pleasant after a campaign of serious under-achievement for which blame will be apportioned accordingly, but asked what his message to Ashley would be, he was swift to respond.
He said: "My message is purely that we need to just find some round pegs for a couple of round holes that we need to fill in this team.
"If we get that right, I think we will be okay. But I do think we need to add a little bit more experience of the level we are at.
"We have got some fantastic players here. We haven't had the consistency this year and the continuity that we had the year before.
"But without the Europa League next year, we will and if you look at our squad, we have still got some very, very good players and if we get the recruitment right, then we could be a force next year."