By Tom Blackburn

Rafa Benitez has vowed that striker Aleksander Mitrovic will not be leaving the club this summer but admitted the club are looking for a new striker.

The Mirror claimed last weekend that Benitez was ready to cash in on the Serbia international, 21, just a year after his move to the club.

However, the Spanish manager claims the reports have surprised him and that the north-east giants will be looking to add a striker rather than lose one.

“I have seen two or three stories this week which have really surprised me,” said Benitez, via the Hartlepool Mail. “It’s not something that’s true.

“I was surprised with this story about Mitrovic.

“Mitrovic is a good striker, he’s our target man at the moment. We need more power in attack, so can we sell one striker if we need more power?

“No, we maybe need to bring in another one. We have no problem with that, but the transfer window is always difficult.”

Mitrovic scored nine Premier League goals for Newcastle and finished as the North East side’s top scorer last season, making a total of 39 appearances in all competitions.

He arrived from Anderlecht last summer for £15.7 million, and still has four years left on the contract he signed.

Benitez have brought in versatile forward Dwight Gayle for around £10million from Crystal Palace after allowing Papiss Cisse to move to China this summer.

Former Real Madrid manager Benitez also has Ayoze Perez and Adam Armstrong at his disposal.

The 56-year-old has already brought in eight new faces on Tyneside, spending almost £50million in the process. Matt Ritchie, Mohamed Diame and Ciaran Clark have all joined in multi-million pound deal.

In other Newcastle transfer news, they receive a blow blow as a £10million-rated target closes in on a new deal.