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By ESPN Staff

Keegan identifies summer targets

Kevin Keegan has handed his list of summer targets over to Dennis Wise as Newcastle prepare to launch their latest recruitment mission.

The 57-year-old has revealed that, after top-level talks with owner Mike Ashley and chairman Chris Mort, a hit-list has been drawn up in an attempt to land the three or four top-class players he believes can take the club to the next level.

However, the actual process of attracting those men will now be left to executive director (football) Wise, vice-president (player recruitment) Tony Jimenez and technical co-ordinator Jeff Vetere.

While that may not extend to an approach for Barcelona's Thierry Henry, Keegan is now keeping his fingers crossed.

He said: 'We had a meeting a couple of weeks ago. We really put our two lists together because they have got a massive expertise in Europe.

'While we on our list have got all the top ones, they are looking at the ones who maybe you can get who will be the next top ones, but are younger.

'When we out them together, it was quite interesting.

'That's it now. If someone asks me how we are getting on with our targets, I can honestly say, 'I don't know' because I am not party to that.

'But I will know the minute they are complete or have failed, I guess - hopefully complete.'

Keegan put the finishing touches to his preparations for tomorrow's Barclays Premier League trip to West Ham amid reports that he is ready to test Barca's resolve to hang on to former Arsenal striker Henry.

However, he laughed it off and admitted his club is shopping in a different market.

He said: 'It's fantastic isn't it. I have had lunch with him - I have had fantastic lunches this week at the training ground.

'We have had (Luka) Modric there with Thierry Henry, Deco has been in for a meal...

'Unfortunately, that's fantasy football. Back to reality, the only time we will really be able to say what we are doing is when we fetch people in. It is easy to target people.

'The Henry story, I went to a talk-in and a 10-year-old kid asked me: `If you could fetch one player to Newcastle United, who would that be?', and I said Thierry Henry because I think he is the best player the Premier League has ever had.

'From that, we are now signing him, which is fantastic, really.'

Dinamo Zagreb star Modric was on Tyneside this week, although the £20million-rated 22-year-old is a target for a series of clubs and Keegan is not getting his hopes up.

He said: 'If you are looking at a young midfield player who has got a fantastic future ahead of him, Modric is one of them.

'But then every other club in the league, from Arsenal and Manchester United, would like Modric.'

The Magpies head for Upton Park having ended their relegation fears with a 2-0 derby win over Sunderland which sparked a night of celebration for Ashley and Mort, the latter of whom has found himself the star of video footage this week as he sang his appreciation in a city night-spot.

Keegan said: 'It's usually the players who go out singing and the chairman comes to you and says: 'What are your players doing?'

'I am hearing he has been singing. Everybody knows the owner, if it is a good win, stays up and has a night out.

'It's his club and why shouldn't he enjoy himself? The more they are out singing and enjoying themselves, the better job we are doing.

'If they are in there next year after every home game, we will be pretty high up the table. They can sing when we are winning, that would be good.'