By Dominic Toner
Newcastle are set to complete deals for midfielders Christian Atsu and Callum McManaman and both players could feature in a new-look attack immediately after the international break.
ESPN correspondent Pete O’Rourke revealed on his personal Twitter account on Monday evening that Newcastle have agreed a loan deal for Chelsea winger Atsu.
Atsu, 24, is now set to complete a medical at St James’ Park and join the revolution under Rafa Benitez.
Newcastle are likely to sign a second player before Wednesday’s transfer deadline day with the Mail claim that they have opened talks with West Brom over a move for the 25-year-old Callum McManaman as they increase their midfield options.
The Premier League duo could be apart of a unfamiliar attacking line up at St James Park and will provided Benitez with a selection headache.
Rafa Benitez is still figuring out his strongest backline but Matz Sels, Chancel Mbemba and captain Jamaal Lascelles appear to be his strongest options.
Newcastle have recently added full-back pairing Achraf Lazaar and DeAndre Yedlin to his squad and both are expected to battle for starting roles against Paul Dummett and Jesus Gamez.
Isaac Hayden and Jonjo Shelvey started the club’s 2-0 league win over Brighton and are in contention with Jack Coldback and summer recruit Mohamed Diame for the midfield positions.
Dwight Gayle and Matt Ritchie cost Newcastle a combined total of £22million this summer and the pair are considered to add the star quality to the side, although the returning Aleksandar Mitrovic is contesting to spearhead the forward line.
It leaves the imminent signings McManaman and Atsu to fill the positions behind the striker and they would face completion from senior players such Ayoze Perez, Yoan Gouffran and Rolando Aarons who recently was sidelined for eight weeks.
McManaman predominately operates from the left-wing and would be an ideal replacement for the injured Aaron.
Atsu is a versatile attacker and has even played in a central midfield position but Benitez may look to exploit his pace going forward and deploy him behind the striker.
In other Newcastle team news, their defender was named in the EFL team of the week after his performance against Brighton.