Newcastle boss Alan Pardew admits he is still desperate to sign a new striker as the Magpies approach their daunting Barclays Premier League season-opener at Manchester City on Monday night.
Pardew's summer has been one of frustration in the transfer market with only Loic Remy arriving on a season-long loan from Queen's Park Rangers - and the Frenchman is ruled out until next month with a calf injury.
Pardew revealed the club had been "close" to landing Aston Villa's Darren Bent before he opted for Fulham, and insisted the lack of success in the transfer market was not for want of trying.
Pardew said: "It's important we get another striker in. Last year we were shy of strikers especially after Demba Ba left, and we need to make sure we have a sound back-room in terms of strikers.
"It's always frustrating in the transfer market but we've got a strong squad and we did some business last January which put us in good fettle because the six months of experience they got will stand them in good stead.
"I think the figures the top clubs are paying out is ridiculous. We can't compete with them on a financial level so we have to be as clever and shrewd as we can, and get players in of the same quality but for a lot less money."
Despite plenty of summer speculation to the contrary, Pardew maintained he is happy with the set-up at St James's Park following the controversial appointment of Joe Kinnear as Director of Football.
Pardew added: "Joe's position here is to make sure the transfers come in and he's working hard to do that. He's taken over Derek Llambias' job and so far it's working okay."