Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has revealed the club have shortlisted seven potential defensive targets ahead of the January transfer window.
Pardew has also outlined the process Newcastle, who have been praised for their player recruitment of late, take when trying to secure a new addition - which starts with chief scout Graham Carr.
"What happens is Graham goes out and gets a list of, say, eight players. Right now we are in the middle of the next window," Pardew told the Evening Chronicle.
"The process, so our fans are clear on it, is this: We have about seven names for a centre-half. He'll give me what he thinks are his best two options. Then it comes down to (football secretary) Lee Charnley. He will contact the clubs.
"Sometimes somebody linked to the club might be an agent who works with the club. They will say what the value of the player might be.
"It is always a 'possibly' because you are never able to negotiate what the actual figure will be."
He added: "We had that problem with (Lille's Mathieu) Debuchy. The figure that was told to us was way off the figure the club wanted. We were indicated that something was out of keel and that's why we felt bad about the deal."
With Newcastle now operating under strict budgets, Pardew also revealed that owner Mike Ashley has on occasion overruled the club's guidelines in order to secure a player.
"There have been times when Derek has said, 'It's out of the budget or it doesn't work' - but Mike has said 'Do it'," Pardew said.
"Don't think that might not happen again. That's my job to try to tease him in on signings. He knows that and what I'm trying to do all of the time. He tries to stay away from me but he can't, I know where he is in Mansfield, it isn't that far!"
However, Pardew did concede that the club must see future value in a player before spending a large sum of money on him. He explained: "There is no way we will sign an £8 million player who is 28. I know that, so there is no point me looking at them.
"But if there's a 22-year-old at £11 million who has potential and I can convince him there is a £30 million player there, it could be different.
"We still need to work within our budget and with the market we've got, we are probably on an even keel at the moment - with a good team."