Newcastle's players report back for pre-season – but STILL no new faces

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez
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Newcastle United's players reported back for the start of pre-season training today – but there were no new faces at the club's training ground.

Rafa Benitez welcome the bulk of his players back to the club's training ground this morning.

Benitez was the first the door at the United's Benton base this morning.

READ MORE: Why Rafa Benitez would pay a high price if he quit Newcastle

And his players will be given fitness tests ahead of a rigorous pre-season campaign.

Newcastle's first game is against Heart of Midlothian at Tynecastle on July 14.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek

Ruben Loftus-Cheek

United manager Benitez, linked with moves for Chelsea's Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Arsenal's Kieran Gibbs and Manchester City's Joe Hart over the weekend, had hoped to be welcoming a number of new players to the club today.

But the only signing, so far, has been former loanee Christian Atsu.

It remains to be seen whether out-of-contract Yoan Gouffran reports back this week.

The forward has been involved in talks over a new deal at the club.

Meanwhile, Loftus-Cheek was a target for Newcastle in January, but Chelsea manager Antonio Conte blocked a loan move for the midfielder.

Conte, however, is reportedly prepared to farm him out in 2017-18.

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