Toon target Italian
By Graeme Bailey
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The veteran boss realises that Newcastle's defence is hampering any possibility that have of mounting a serious title challenge, but he is looking to resolve the situation next month.
"We can't just buy a player off reputation, or the recommendation of an agent who wants to take money out of the deal," said Robson.
"We will only sign a player we have seen.
"But there are one or two we like - there are Italians we like, and there is one Italian in particular."
Internazionale's former Everton stopper Marco Materazzi had been mentioned, but Robson played down reports that he could be an option.
"Materazzi has been mentioned but he's too expensive for us. He's in the Italian side and he's top class like Alessandro Nesta or Fabio Cannavaro, but we can't get them.
"But I am still quite optimistic about someone coming in."
One Italian strongly linked in recent weeks is Rangers' Lorenzo Amoruso, although both player and club have stated their very happy with the current status quo at Ibrox.
It now remains to be seen who Robson wants and whether he will be able to lure him to St James' Park within the next five weeks.
Leeds United's Lee Bowyer has also been mentioned in some quarters as a potential target, but Robson's quotes would suggest that a defender is his priority.
Robson, meanwhile, played down reports of a bust-up with Welsh striker Craig Bellamy who asked to be rested from Newcastle's Boxing Day defeat at Bolton.
"Craig Bellamy is fine," said Robson.
"The situation is that he asked not to play because he knows the knee surgeon told him that he will not always be able to play two games in a week.
"Craig just thought he would rather play at home against Tottenham and Liverpool on Sunday and Wednesday and at the back of his mind he will have thought we would beat Bolton without him.
"It is up the player to know how his knee is feeling and when he can play. We adhered to what he wanted because there is no point sending a player out who isn't mentally right. We've kept the kid for Sunday and Wednesday.
"All Craig was doing was looking after himself. You have to remember he was out for seven months with a very serious knee injury.
"We are giving the boy more time and we have to play it by ear at the moment. It won't go on for ever, but we are doing what's right for him, even if it was a difficult decision to rest him against Bolton."