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Newcastle United’s summer ahead of their big return to the Premier League, has been a very frustrating one. The Magpies having made it back to the English top division, but have been struggling to get deals done to bring in new players so far, unlike the case with fellow promotion winners Brighton & Hove Albion and Huddersfield Town, both of whom have been very active in the transfer market.
This has led to a certain level of unrest among the fans, while manager Rafael Benitez too is believed to be growing frustrated. The Toon are set to kick off their pre-season with a friendly against Hearts of Midlothian FC on Friday with just Christian Atsu and Florian Lejeune as the new arrivals to the club.
The club needs significant strengthening of their ranks before the transfer window shuts down in August, if they are to put up a strong display on their return to the big league and here are two players that they should look to sign at the earliest, in order to kick-start their summer.
Newcastle are in embroiled in negotiations with Norwich City for winger Jacob Murphy and they need to arrive at a resolution at the earliest. As per the latest reports, Newcastle are set to bid £10million for the youngster, with Norwich demanding a fee in the range of £16million (Northern Echo).
Murphy had a very good season with the Yellow Canaries last time around, scoring 9 goals and chalking up 8 assists from 40 games in all competitions. He also had an impressive run for the England U-21 side in the recently concluded U-21 European Championships in Poland, which has turned him into a much sought-after player.
He will prove to be a good option in the wide areas for Newcastle and will add depth and quality to the squad. He has shown great potential so far in his fledgling career and can become a star with Newcastle.
The Manchester City midfielder will most likely be surplus to requirements at the Etihad next summer, with the likes of Ilkay Gundogan, Yaya Toure, Fernandinho, Fabian Delph all ahead of him in the pecking order. And it is possible that Fernando will be allowed to leave before the window closes.
The Brazilian just played on 26 occasions last season for the Citizens in all competitions – most of which were appearances from the bench. However, despite not playing much last campaign, he could prove to be a shrewd buy for Newcastle.
The 29-year old is a seasoned pro and will render some much-needed solidity and defensive steel to the Newcastle midfield. With his presence in the middle of the park, Jonjo Shelvey will also be given a more liberated role, which would allow him to romp forward and impact the games more. And his experience of winning titles in the past is another thing that will heavily rub off on a relatively young Newcastle squad, helping them on their return to the top-flight.