• Chris Hughton admits more goal power is needed at Norwich
• Alan Pardew to meet this week with Argentinian defender
The dangers of buying during the January transfer window, when prices bear little relation to value and signings are required to make an immediate impact, are well documented. Sometimes, however, such purchases are unavoidable and Newcastle are poised to make one after striking a deal with Marseille for the forward Loïc Rémy.
"We have an agreement in principle with Newcastle, it is true," Marseille's president, Vincent Labrune, told RMC Sport radio station in France. "We have therefore given Loïc permission to chat with them. For the rest, we must wait patiently."
Reports in Marseille indicate Newcastle will pay €10.5m (£8.7m) and, on the evidence of the team's performance here, they have no choice other than to risk their money on the 26-year-old France striker. He scored 12 league goals last season after not starting a game until mid-October but has netted only once this season, when he has been used mainly off the bench.
The Newcastle supporters who, factoring in travel costs, paid the best part of £100 to watch their side produce a single shot on target, can only hope he makes half the impact of Papiss Cissé, who scored 13 goals in 14 games after being signed from Freiburg for £9m this time 12 months ago.
Cissé was on the pitch, though most of the time you would not have known it. Isolated and easily marshalled by the Norwich defence, the Senegal international barely had a kick – unlike his captain, Fabricio Coloccini, by some margin United's most accomplished player in a performance of such sterility it had to be seen to be believed.
Persuading the Argentinian that the personal problems that have prompted him to tell the club he wants to move back home less than a year after signing a new four-year contract will be as important to Newcastle's manager, Alan Pardew, as any new signing he may make.
"We've got a meeting [with Coloccini] this week and we're going to try to resolve it," said Pardew, who was happy with a point after seven consecutive defeats away from home.
"He's a class player, great players can play through most crises and we had a crisis today in terms of our results. It's players of his calibre, and [goalkeeper] Tim Krul, and [Yohan] Cabaye, who are going to get us up the league, which we need to do.
"We needed to get [Cissé] more involved in the game, there wasn't enough of him. He needed someone up there with him and I haven't got another striker who I think is at the level that they should be at the club."
In terms of creativity the return from injury of Cabaye, who came on for the final half-hour, represents cause for optimism, but Pardew said the winger Hatem Ben Arfa is not expected to be fit for three weeks.
Chris Hughton, also seemed happy enough to have ended a run of four consecutive defeats, though Newcastle, despite being more solid than of late, appeared to be there for the taking. Had the Norwich striker Grant Holt been fit enough to start, as opposed to come on for the final 20 minutes, the odds are Hughton's team would have found a way through Newcastle, for all that their set-piece delivery was uncharacteristically poor.
"Holt is a big player for us, and it's not just about his goals," the Norwich manager said. "But it wasn't about Grant today, it was about a performance when we let ourselves down in the final third. We needed to provide better service for whoever was up front."
Norwich are being strongly linked with Celtic's former Scunthorpe striker Gary Hooper. "We're looking to strengthen full stop but it's quite obvious we'd like to score more goals," Hughton said.
"But it's a very difficult time to be sure whoever you can bring in will add to the quality of the squad and you're not paying more than they're worth."
Man of the match Fabricio Coloccini (Newcastle United)