By North-east correspondent Harry Sykes

Steve McClaren wanted to sign proven quartet Charlie Austin, Jordan Rhodes, Joey Barton and Michael Dawson at Newcastle this season, according to a report.

The four English players, who are all experienced at either Premier League or Championship level, were on McClaren’s transfer wishlist in last summer’s window.

But the former Newcastle boss ultimately did not have enough control over recruitment to land the players who he felt would fit the style of play he was implementing.

McClaren was sacked as Magpies manager earlier this month following a wretched run of results and Rafael Benitez was handed the task of saving the club from relegation.

The former Liverpool, Chelsea and Real Madrid boss is set to have a far greater degree of control on transfers if he maintains Newcastle’s Premier League status.

According to a report in the Chronicle, McClaren made it clear he wanted to sign another striker in the later stages of the summer window following Aleksandar Mitrovic’s slow start to the season.

Austin, 26, was McClaren’s prime target but Newcastle refused to match the £15million valuation placed on the striker at the time by Queens Park Rangers.

McClaren then turned his attention to Rhodes, also 26, but a deal could not be agreed with Blackburn and the prolific Championship striker eventually joined Middlesbrough in January.

The Chronicle claim ex-Newcastle midfielder Barton, 33, was also targeted after he was released by QPR but he eventually joined Burnley, while attempts to prise Dawson, 32, from Hull failed.