By Amir Mir

Danny Higginbotham believes Championship leaders Newcastle will “spend big” in the January transfer window.

Rafa Benitez’ side have opened a sizeable gap at the top of the table as they have recorded 37 points from 16 games.

The Magpies and Brighton occupy the two automatic spots in the table with Huddersfield in third, eight points behind Newcastle.

Benitez purchased 12 players during the summer transfer window, including Premier League duo Dwight Gayle and Matt Ritchie for a combined fee of £20 million.

Despite the Spaniard buying players of high quality and quantity, former Premier League player Higginbotham still believes he will splash the cash in January, along with rivals Aston Villa.

“I think Newcastle are going to spend big, and I think Villa will too,” Higginbotham told Sky Sports, as quoted by the Chronicle. “I think teams that are up and around there are going to.”

Striker Gayle has played a pivotal part in the north east club winning their last eight games in all competitions.

The former Crystal Palace player tops the scoring charts in the second-tier with 11 goals as he has found the net every 94 minutes.

In other Newcastle team news, this report details what the Magpies have planned for striker Alexandar Mitrovic in January.