By Will Butcher
Rafa Benitez wants to bring in seven to 10 new players at Newcastle this summer starting with three of Chelsea’s up-and-coming stars, according to a report.
The Evening Chronicle claim a permanent deal for Christian Atsu could be completed, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Nathan Ake are also on the Toon’s summer wishlist.
It is believed that Benitez will look to secure temporary deals from the Premier League’s top six sides in order to preserve his allocated transfer budget this summer.
Loftus-Cheek was a January target for Benitez, but a move failed to materialise with the former Real Madrid boss left frustrated that his side were unable to bolster their promotion push.
However, the Toon earned champions status as they gained promotion in first place, and could now look to re-enter the window for attacking midfielder Loftus-Cheek.
Ake spent the first half of the 2016-17 season on loan with Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth, where the 22-year-old shined before being recalled as cover for Antonio Conte’s side in January.
He could be brought in with the Toon said to be monitoring his situation, while a permanent deal for Atsu could be struck after he scored two goals in his last three Newcastle appearances.
Football Insider verdict:
Three absolute must-buys for Newcastle, if they are all available and keen to move to Tyneside in the summer. Mohamed Diame struggled following his move from Hull last summer, while Ayoze Perez was inconsistent throughout the season. Bringing Loftus-Cheek to St. James’ Park would change that, as he continues to grow with the experience he is given. Ake proved to be one of the signings of the season before he was recalled, and he would bolster a defence that has seen Benitez fail to choose a permanent partner for Jamaal Lascelles, as he chops and changes between Ciaran Clark, Chancel Mbemba and Grant Hanley. Atsu’s form towards the end of the season has seen him do more than enough to earn a permanent move.
In other Newcastle transfer news, the Toon are also reportedly keen on signing this Premier League captain.