By support

9th Apr, 2017 | 4:03pm

Report: This is how many players Benitez will buy if Newcastle get promoted

By Matt Farr

Rafa Benitez could be set to add up to six new signings to his Newcastle squad this summer, according to a report.

The Chronicle understands that the Newcastle chief has set out an extensive summer recruitment plan to strengthen his side ahead of a potential return to the Premier League.

Newcastle are firmly on course to seal an immediate return back to the top flight, and Benitez has already set about making the necessary improvements to his squad with up to six first-team-ready performers on his radar.

It is believed that he is looking in particular to strengthen the spine of his squad, which could see him add at least a centre back, a striker and a central midfielder to his ranks this summer.

He is also likely to re-enter the market for a winger, with Christian Atsu expected to return to parent club Chelsea at the end of his loan spell, while Yoan Gouffran will be out of contract.

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The Magpies could, however, add more than one player in each position to boost the strength in depth at the club, with Benitez having previously admitted he was chasing two Premier League strikers.

Benitez had reportedly tried to sign both a central midfielder and a winger during the January transfer window, setting his sights on Tom Cairney and Andros Townsend, only to end up empty-handed.

But the Spaniard will be determined to land all of his preferred targets this summer, with adequate funds at his disposal.

He is on the hunt for first-team-ready players with the potential to improve, but that can also fit into the current system at the club that has worked well over the course of the season.

A number of current Premier League performers have been linked with moves to St. James’ Park, including Burnley hitman Andre Gray and Hull defender Harry Maguire, while Benitez could also renew his interest in Townsend.

In other Newcastle transfer news, the Magpies are in the race for this Premier League forward (not Gray), whom Benitez believes to be ‘perfect’ for the club.

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