By Coral Barry
Rafael Benitez has handed Newcastle sporting director Lee Charnley a long list of summer targets with strikers dominating the Spaniard’s wishlist, according to a report.
The Newcastle boss has made finding a striker to fire them back into the Premier League a priority and has given the club several names he would be happy with.
The Chronicle claim that list includes Fulham’s Ross McCormack, Chelsea’s Patrick Bamford and Bournemouth’s Lee Tomlin.
McCormack is reportedly available for £15million after 21 goals in the Championship this season, while Benitez is convinced he can get the best out of Tomlin and Bamford who have struggled to adapt to life in the Premier League.
Bamford may have been a peripheral figure on loan at Crystal Palace and Norwich this season, but bagged 17 Championship goals for Nottingham Forest last campaign, while Tomlin has struggled to replicate the form at Middlesbrough that initially earned him his move to the Cherries last summer.
Newcastle are also claimed to have been offered Palace’s Dwight Gayle, who is surplus to requirements despite ending the season as the Eagles’ top goal scorer.
Bamford, 22, is reported to be on the market for about £10million this summer while £3million is thought to be enough to capture Tomlin.
Tomlin operated mostly on the right wing for Bristol City this season while on loan this season, but the 27-year-old can fill the attacking midfielder or secondary striker role as well.
Benitez believes Championship experience will be crucial for his squad in their quest to return to the top flight and is targeting a proven goalscorer who is familiar with the second tier’s demands.
It is claimed the Newcastle boss would welcome the addition of two forwards this summer.
In other Newcastle news, Benitez has to make a decision on one prolific goalscorer already in his ranks.