New Sampdoria president Massimo Ferrero has revealed that Esteban Cambiasso rejected the chance to join the club.
World Cup revelation James Rodriguez admits it would be a dream come true to one day represent Real Madrid.
Alan Pardew reacted to Saturday's 2-0 FA Cup defeat to Brighton by declaring that Newcastle must strengthen in the transfer window to address injury crisis that has enveloped St James' Park.
Pardew admitted the patched-up side he fielded at Amex Stadium was inadequate but stressed the club must concentrate on relieving their precarious position in the Barclays Premier League.
Papiss Cisse and Fabricio Coloccini were missing with respective thigh and hamstring injuries, though both are expected to return against Norwich on Saturday.
The influential Hatem Ben Arfa, Yohan Cabaye and Steven Taylor are out until next month, Cheick Tiote has been lost to the African Nations Cup and Demba Ba was sold to Chelsea yesterday.
Newcastle are only two points above the relegation zone and Pardew warned the club must act if they are to remain in the top flight.
"We need to make sure we are a Premier League team next season. Our team today is a shadow of the team we can put out," he said.
"We know we need to get some bigger players who can handle the situation of carrying a Newcastle jersey, whether that's a signing or getting a player back from injury.
"It's important to spend during this month. I'd like to see another player come in through the door to join Mathieu Debuchy in the next week or so. It's difficult to get transfers in this window but we'll have to do everything possible."