By North-east correspondent Harry Sykes
Newcastle are targeting summer moves for three emerging stars of English football, according to a report.
Championship emerging stars Lewis Cook of Leeds, Lewis Dunk of Brighton and Will Hughes of Derby are on the radar of manager Rafael Benitez.
The Sun claim that Benitez is keen to buy Premier League-ready British players with wide Championship experience as he rebuilds the Magpies squad for their campaign in the second tier.
Newcastle announced on Wednesday night that Benitez has agreed an updated contract that gives him control over the team’s transfers and scouting.
The Spaniard is now set to turn his attention to reshaping a squad that can cope with the unique demands of the Championship.
Cook, 19, has been a regular in the Leeds central midfield for two seasons and was named the Football League Young Player of the Year in April for a series of outstanding displays.
Hughes, 21 and also a midfielder, made his Derby debut aged just 16 and has been closely monitored by all the leading Premier League clubs in recent seasons.
Centre-back Dunk, 24, was a mainstay of the Brighton team that narrowly missed out on promotion to the top flight this season.
Newcastle have been tipped to sell Moussa Sissoko, Georginio Wijnaldum, Daryl Janmaat and Andros Townsend this summer following their relegation to the Championship.
But the manager revealed he has the final say on whether the club will offload any of their stars.
“I don’t need to sell any I players I don’t want to sell,” Benitez said on Wednesday.
In other Newcastle news, Barcelona are keen to sign one of the club’s leading players.