With the dust still settling on their frustrated efforts to bring in another striker to supplement their preferred partnership of Papiss Cisse and Loic Remy the United hierarchy have battened down the hatches amid fierce criticism of their recruitment efforts over the close season. Alan Pardew’s only public utterance has been a club-sanctioned statement on Tuesday afternoon while Joe Kinnear is understood to be out of the country having been advised by Newcastle bosses not to speak in detail about their efforts over the summer. Despite all of this Mike Ashley has passed down the instruction to continue scouting efforts with a renewed focus on January when the club have always believed there are better bargains to be had. While this line of thinking is likely to be met with understandable cynicism by supporters disappointed at the way the club failed to deliver the reinforcements that were talked up by Pardew and Kinnear it is a reflection of the owner’s thinking when it comes to the transfer market. It is also a sign that there is little prospect of Ashley selling up – despite supporter groups talking of upping the pressure on the club’s unpopular owner. The Journal understands the club’s scouting efforts have begun in earnest this weekend with Newcastle talent-spotters stationed at matches all over Europe during the international break. They will be paying particular attention to Finnbogason the 24-year-old Iceland international who was offered to Newcastle during the summer window for a fee of around £5m. United opted to look at other targets during the summer but his prolific scoring record has elevated him up the list of striker targets assembled by the club’s scouting team.