Newcastle close to another transfer breakthrough as club waits on bids for big names

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez
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Rafa Benitez says Newcastle United have more deals lined up to follow their triple transfer breakthrough.

The club signed Dwight Gayle, Matt Ritchie and Matz Sels last week.

And Benitez – who yesterday took time out from pre-season training to watch local schoolchildren compete in the inaugural Newcastle United Foundation 1892 Cup at the club’s Academy – has revealed that there are further deals in the pipeline.

But there will also be departures from the club this summer.

The club is is close to confirming the departure of captain Fabricio Coloccini, while there are question marks over the futures of the likes of Moussa Sissoko, Georginio Wijnaldum and Jonjo Shelvey.

A number of squad players could also leave before the start of the Championship season next month.

Rafa Benitez at the club's Academy yesterday

Rafa Benitez at the club's Academy yesterday

Asked about United’s progress in the transfer market, Benitez said: “We were working to get some players ready, and then we did three in a row.

“We are still working.

“We have some players there (and) ready.

“The difficult thing about the market is that you have to buy and you have to sell.

The difficult thing about the market is that you have to buy and you have to sell.

Rafa Benitez

“So that depends on if you receive offers for players that maybe we consider that they can leave, and after, also, try to find the right players for us.”

The club’s early signings have been well-received on Tyneside.

Newcastle signed forward Gayle, 26, from Crystal Palace for £10million.

And 26-year-old midfielder Ritchie has made the long move from Bournemouth for the same fee.

United manager Benitez feels the pair, having played in the Championship, will be able to hit the ground running.

“It was important for me that we could bring in players that could understand English football,” said Benitez, who committed himself to the club in late May.

“The Championship is quite difficult.

“They understand what it means to play here and the physicality and intensity of the game.

“With him (Gayle), it’s the pace, movement and finishing he can give to us.

“I think we have a good addition. He can increase the competition.

“Ritchie is another player that knows the division. He has energy and quality.”

Sels, 24, joined from Belgian club Gent.

Meanwhile, Benitez watched the boys and girls finals of the 1892 Cup, which saw 128 children from eight schools compete in a series of games at the Academy.

Benitez was joined at the tournament by Aleksandar Mitrovic, Jamaal Lascelles, Vurnon Anita and Paul Dummett.

All children were given new Puma home strips by “club partner” Sports Direct.

Benitez is taking a keen interest in the club’s community work.

“We thought it would be a good idea to put football and the foundation together and bring the kids and the families here,” he said.

“Everything has been really good.

“Also, we strengthened the link between the club and the city and the fans.

“It was very positive for everyone.”