Newcastle United briefing: Rafa Benitez targets Premier League defender, Jamaal Lascelles' shock revelation

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez and his players are preparing for Sunday's season-ending game against Barnsley.

Benitez, however, is also preparing for a meeting with Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley.

The pair will sit down after the last ball has been kicked to discuss his future and the club's summer transfer strategy.

Newcastle will win the Championship title if they better Brighton and Hove Albion's result against Aston Villa.

United are a point behind Chris Hughton's side, who haven't picked up a point since securing promotion to the Premier League last month.

Here is your daily briefing:

Calum Chambers

Calum Chambers

Gunner get him?

One area Benitez will need to strengthen is defence.

And United's manager has been linked with a defender who has been plying his trade down the A19 this season.

Arsenal's Calum Chambers is said to be a potential summer target for Benitez.

The 22-year-old is on a season-long loan at relegation-threatened Middlesbrough, who have the best defensive record of the teams at the bottom of the table.

Middlesbrough's problem hasn't been conceding goals – it's been scoring them.

Benitez could also revive his interest in Fulham midfielder Tom Cairney.

An Ell of a season

Newcastle's title hopes looked to be over a week or two ago.

But back-to-back defeats for Brighton have let United back into the race.

Goalkeeper Rob Elliot, recalled for Newcastle's promotion-securing win over Preston North End last week, has been speaking about the prospect of silverware.

Leading by example

Jamaal Lascelles will miss the Barnsley game after undergoing groin surgery.

The club's captain revealed after his operation that he had been playing through the pain barrier for more than five months.

And finally...

Is Dwight Gayle set for a comeback on the final day of the season?

We have an injury update on the Newcastle striker, who has been sidelined for almost a month.

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