The Knights had identified former Gold Coast enforcer Greg Bird as their No.1 target for next season, but after he signed a huge deal to join the Catalans Dragons they are now proceeding with Plan B.

Newcastle have already signed Jamie Buhrer (Manly) and Rory Kostjacyn (North Queensland) but still have significant funds available and are hoping to add three or four new players before 2017 kicks off.

Newcastle CEO Matt Gidley said coach Nathan Brown and football manager Darren Mooney are considering a host of options, from minimum-wage rookies to top-tier representative stars.

“We haven’t put all our eggs in one basket,’’ Gidley said.

Most importantly, Gidley added, the Knights had to hold their nerve.

“We’re in a good position,’’ he said.

“We’ve got salary cap space and we just need to be patient until the right players become available.’’

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