Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is adamant Yohan Cabaye will be replaced this summer.
The 52-year-old looked on in dismay as his star man was sold to Paris St Germain in January, with the club unable to strike a deal to plug the chasm his departure created.
However, having already started the planning process for what promises to be a crucial closed-season recruitment drive - detailed talks with owner Mike Ashley are yet to take place - the main focus will be replacing the man who made the Magpies tick more than most during his two and a half years on Tyneside.
Asked if Cabaye's exit had forced the club to re-calibrate its ambitions for the remainder of the season, Pardew said: "It's fair to say that the transfer made it harder to qualify for Europe - and I don't think anyone would disagree with that - because we couldn't replace him.
"But that doesn't mean to say we can't replace him in the summer.
"We know we have got good players here, but we do need that controller of the ball, that manoeuvrer, that clever player, and we will get one in the summer, for sure."
Newcastle retain an interest in Montpellier midfielder Remy Cabella, who they tried to sign during the final few days of the winter transfer window, although chief scout Graham Carr is currently running the rule over a series of potential targets.