Date: 30th April 2018 at 5:58pm
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Newcastle United have sent senior figures Steve Nickson and Paul Baker out on transfer missions in both France and Italy in order to source some bargain deals ahead of the summer window, according to a report.

The Chronicle claim on their website that Nickson, the club’s head of recruitment, and Baker, who was handed a scout’s role after time with the academy setup, are on the continent seeking out new talent for the Magpies, as they look to replicate the success of Florian Lejeune and Mikel Merino last summer.

It is said that Newcastle made the most of release clauses in the defender’s contract, while managed to agree a bargain fee for the midfielder after an initial loan move from Borussia Dortmund, and that manager Rafael Benitez’s insider knowledge will hand the club a huge advantage in the market.

Football Insider verdict

Benitez proved exactly what he can bring to the club last summer by snapping up some top talents for nominal fees – and it makes fans wonder just what he could do if he was handed the proper backing by owner Mike Ashley. Newcastle have not had the greatest of success from France or Italy in recent years so it is interesting to see them revisiting those markets, while the Toon Army can be sure the manager has been on his phone to contacts in Spain seeking out further deals. His contacts list is as long as anyone’s in world football and so he will know exactly who to get in touch with when needed, but without money, he will be scraping around for a deal.

In other Newcastle United transfer news, the club have been named as a suitor after offers were tabled for a Champions League maestro.

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