Magpies are closing in on Hull City Midfielder Sam Clucas as Rafa Benitez continues to look to strengthen the squad. The 26-year-old had a great premier league campaign last season. However, Hull City were relegated and they should struggle to keep the player. It is rumored that Newcastle could get the midfielder for as low as £4M. It would be a great buy for sure if the Magpies can get him.
On the outgoing, Rafa spoke to the media speaking about trimming the squad ahead of the season. One of the players is midfielder Henri Saviet. The Senegal international spent last season on loan to St. Etienne and is expected to leave. Another player is Tim Krul. Krul has been with the club since 2005 and has fallen out of sorts with Rafa. Midfielder Siem De Jong, Defender Jesus Gamez, and Striker Emmanuel Riviere are all expected to leave as well.
Newcastle fan favorite Mitrovic could be leaving St James Park as Ligue 1 club Lyon are interested in the Striker. Lyon have already brought on six new players, however, they would like to bolster their strike force after losing Alexandre Lacazette to Arsenal. It is believed that a €15M bid was made for the Serbian. Having already let Daryl Murphy go this summer, Rafa may be more reluctant to let Mitrovic go.
Speaking of Rafa, he is sending his attention back to his old club Napoli for Midfielder Alan with a bid of £10M is to be expected. Alan is more of a holding midfielder that made 39 appearances for Napoli last season. Rafa believes the Brazilian will be able to adapt easily to the Premier League game.
Former Newcastle fan favorite Steven Taylor has found a new home. The 31-year-old defender had a trial at Doncaster Rovers but opted to move to League one rivals Peterborough United for a 2 year deal.
Magpies have moved very fast to get a signing for Spanish U21 international Mikel Merino from Borussia Dortmund. Pictures were taken of the Midfielder in Newcastle with club officials. The move would initially see a 2017/2018-year long loan deal with the opportunity to buy at the end of the season. If Merino were to sign, it would be Newcastle’s 5th signing this summer.
Tim Krul has been moved to train at the Academy complex. The 29-year-old has been with Newcastle since 2005 however that time looks to be coming to an end as he is not involved with first team training or friendlies. More rumored outgoings are Achraff Lazarr and Emmanuel Riviere as they too have been left out of the first team.
Newcastle – 4
Murphy (51’, 79’)
Bradford City – 0
Team: Rob Elliott, Deandre Yedlin, Florian Lejeune, Ciaran Clark, Paul Dummett, Christian Atsu, Jonjo Shelvey, Issac Hayden, Matt Ritchie, Ayoze Perez, Dwight Gayle
Subs Used: Freddie Woodman (61’), Javier Manquillo (46’), Chancel Mbemba (61’), Jack Colback (77’), Jesus Gamez (61’), Rolando Aarons (61’), Siem De Jong (61’), Henri Saivet (77’), Jacob Murphy (46’), Mo Diame (46’), Aleksandar Mitrovic (61’)
Team: Doyle, McMahon, Knight-Percival, Kilgallon, Chicksen, Gillead (Newcastle Loanee), Vincelot, Reeves, Law, McCartan, Jones
Subs Used: Devine (73’), Pybus (77’), Hudson (77’), Patrick (77’)
A lot of action for Newcastle in today’s match and it was the second half that provided all the goals in today’s match. All players named in the squad played today as Newcastle beat Bradford 4-0. Matt Richie got his first action of the season, and we also saw two goals from newcomer Jacob Murphy. All in all, it was a great performance for the Magpies and the team should be growing in confidence for their upcoming trip to Germany.
Benitez also had great things to say about the friendly against Bradford City.
“We created some good situations and also defended quite well. It was what we were trying to do, although there are still things we are trying to improve. But at least you could see a team that were trying to do the movements that we were practicing in the training sessions.”
About Jacob Murphy scoring twice, Benitez said
“It’s always important for offensive players to score goals. If a new player scores two goals, then he is bound to have more confidence for the next games.” “We are at the beginning, so we still have to improve a lot.”
Jamaal Lascelles was out again for the friendly. He has a knee injury and Benitez said
“He has a little problem, and we have to be careful. We have enough players to manage that and give other people and opportunity.”
Rafa Benitez expressed his confidence that Borussia Dortmund Midifielder will sign with Newcastle shortly. The Spain U21 International moved to Dortmund last summer from Osasuna. The holding midfielder should be able to complement Jonjo Shelvey on the pitch. Benitez said, “It is still not done. We are working to finalize on the deal but I am quite confident we can do it. We should have a quality player soon.”
Newcastle could have a swap deal in play with West Ham. After the Hammers lost Darren Randolph last week to Middlesboro, they do not want to part ways with Adrian unless they recoup another keeper. It looks as if Karl Darlow could be the that other player. It seems both clubs are interested in the deal so we will have to see how this news moves throughout the weekend.
Magpies have completed the signing of midfielder Mikel Merino on a season long loan deal with the option to buy. He will now link up with his new teammates in Germany for a set of friendlies. The Spanish U21 International had a great start to his career at Osasuna then moved to Borussia Dortmund to big European experience. Merino did not get as much playing time with Dortmund as he wished, which brought him to the toon. Speaking of the signing, Merino said
“It feels good and I’m very happy to be here, to be part of this club. I’m looking forward to touching the ball, meeting my new teammates and starting to play football.”
Newcastle are pulling out of the deal for Benfica midfielder Andreas Samaris. Rafa was keen to talk to Samaris, however the talks stopped when Benfica asked for £17.5M.
Rafa is defending his decision to make three former first team players train with the academy. Rafa insists his decision is a professional one as Tim Krul, Achraf Lazarr and Emmanuel Riviere are all on the way out. Benitez is looking to reduce the wage bill and use some of the money for new signings. Benitez said
“When you have too many players, what you can do is talk with them straight, and that’s what I did. I told them listen, we have too many players – my idea is this one. We have to be sure that they understand what we want to do. You cannot be Championship or Premier League when you don’t have all the squad, all the players, that you want, because we are going a little bit late.”
Saturday July 29th, 2017
Newcastle – 1
Jesus Gamez (65’)
FSV Mainz – 2
De Blasis (5’)
Viktor Fischer (84’)
Team: Karl Darlow, Deandre Yedlin, Cirian Clark, Florian Lejeune, Paul Dummett, Jack Colback, Jacob Murphy, Mo Diame, Matt Ritchie, Siem, De Jong, Aleksandar Mitrovic
Subs Used: Javier Manquillo (27’), Chancel Mbemba (46’), Jesus Gamez (46’), Rolando Aarons (46’), Freddie Woodman (60’), Jonjo Shelvey (60’), Issac Hayden (60’), Ayoze Perez (60’), Christian Atsu (60’), Dwight Gayle (60’), Mikel Merino (79’)
Team: Adler, Brosinski, Bell, Diallo, Donati, Latza, Frei, De Blasis, Maxim, Oztunali, Muto
Subs Used: Zentner, Holtmann, Balogun, Onisiwo, Rodriguez, Serdar, Fischer, Klement, Jairo, Kodro
It was the first loss in preseason for the Toon, 2-1. Newcastle initially fell behind in the fifth minute with a goal scored by De Blasis. At halftime, the score line was the same. The Magpies equaled just past the hour mark when Jesus Gamez shot the ball off of a defender that went by the keeper. New boy Mikel Merino made his debut to play out the final 20 minutes however it wasn’t long after that sub that Mainz took the lead and clinched the victory.
Rafa had this to say after the game.
“It’s a preseason game, when you play these type of games all you want is to improve the fitness of the team. You want to be sure everybody understands what we want to do. I think we started well in terms of organization and pressing but then we didn’t regain properly, gave them a chance to counter attack and then score.”
Newcastle’s next match will see them stay in Germany to play VFL Wolfsburg on Wednesday August 2nd.