Former Everton and Manchester United defender Phil Neville says that Newcastle United have got to sign no less than four players in the January transfer window if they want to avoid relegation this season.

The Magpies are on a dreadful run of form, which has seen them pick up just one point from a possible 21, with one draw and six defeats in their last seven games.

Their winless streak, which continued with a 3-2 defeat at home to Leicester City on Saturday, has seen them slide down the Premier League table into 16th, just two points and two places off the relegation zone.

With the January transfer window just around the corner, Neville says that the club have got to make major changes to their squad if they hope to remain in the top flight, and that they face returning to the Championship if they fail to bring in reinforcements.

He told BBC’s Match of the Day (09/12, 22:30): “If Newcastle don’t strengthen in January, they will get relegated.

“Because that team has got Championship quality, Championship players.

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“And they need to bring in four or five players, not one or two, four or five players of Premier League quality.”

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez publicly voiced his frustrations at the club’s transfer failings in the summer window, which saw him manage to bring in just five new faces through the doors at St James’ Park.

They will be hoping to bounce back to winning ways in midweek, when they take on an Everton side now managed by former boss Sam Allardyce.

In other Newcastle United news, the club are lining up a swoop for a 21-year-old international speed machine.

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