By Noel Whelan

10th Nov, 2021 | 10:08am

Newcastle 'whirlwind' intensifies as Emenalo lines up three January signings - pundit

Noel Whelan has insisted Newcastle can’t afford to wait too long in their quest to appoint a director of football.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claimed there is “a lot of work to be done” at St James’ Park.

This site understands Newcastle are set to appoint former Chelsea director Michael Emenalo as their director of football after a breakthrough in talks.

A Newcastle source has told Football Insider that Emenalo, 56, is set to work with Howe on recruiting at least three major January signings as the priorities are identified.

Eddie Howe was appointed as manager on Monday (November 8th).

The Telegraph reported last month that the Magpies’ new boss will be handed a £50million transfer budget in order to stave off the threat of relegation.

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Whelan urged Newcastle to set the wheels in motion ahead of an important January window.

“It’s very important they get someone in quickly because right now they are at ground level,” he told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury.

“It’s a new consortium, new owner, new manager. The director of football will be working very closely alongside everyone – you don’t want to leave it too late.

“Newcastle need to start planning right now.

“There’s one piece of the jigsaw in place, the manager. Now it’s time to get that other key member of staff in so that they can be singing off the same hymn sheet and putting their minds together to think about transfer targets in January.

“There’s a lot of work to be done at Newcastle. It might be exciting times, but there are still so many areas that need ironing out.

It’s been like a whirlwind and a bit messy. Hopefully, they can get on the right track by getting these key appointments right.

In other news, Kieran Maguire reveals Newcastle’s transfer plan after “speaking to agents“.