Newcastle United briefing: Ex-Arsenal defender on Tyneside, TV changes announced

Newcastle United new boy Florian Lejeune will face the media today.
Florian LejeuneFlorian Lejeune
Florian Lejeune

The defender became the club's second summer signing when he joined from Eibar earlier this week in an £8.8million deal.

Another new face has been spotted at Newcastle this week.

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A former Arsenal defender has been training at the club with a view to a move.

Here's your daily briefing:

Sunday service

Jamaal LascellesJamaal Lascelles
Jamaal Lascelles
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Five of Newcastle's first seven Premier League games will be broadcast live on TV, it was announced today.

The opening-day home fixture against Tottenham Hotspur has been moved to Sunday, August 13 (1.30pm kick-off) so it can be screened by Sky Sports, and the following weekend's game against Huddersfield Town has been switched to Sunday, August 20 (1.3pm).

United's away game against Swansea City will be played on Sunday, September 10 (4pm), and the fixture against Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium will be played on Sunday, September 24 (4pm).

Finally, the visit of Liverpool has been moved to Sunday, October 1 (4.30pm).

Jamaal LascellesJamaal Lascelles
Jamaal Lascelles

Free agent

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Stefan O'Connor has been training with United after being released by Arsenal.

The 20-year-old – who made one Champions League appearance for the club – has reportedly been offered a two-year deal by Rafa Benitez.

Benitez, aided by new head of recruitment Steve Nickson, is looking to strengthen the Under-23 squad as well as his own pool of senior players this summer.

Karl DarlowKarl Darlow
Karl Darlow

O'Connor has had loan spells at York City and MVV Maastricht.

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The former England Under-17 international can play at centre-half and right-back.

Safe hands

There will be outgoings and well as incomings at St James's Park.

And Karl Darlow, outstanding in United's Championship winning campaign, is facing an uncertain future at the club given Benitez's keenness to sign another goalkeeper.

Reading are considering a move for Darlow, who must decide whether to stay and fight for his place or move on and play week in, week out.

Jamaal LascellesJamaal Lascelles
Jamaal Lascelles

Deal me in

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Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles, sign in a double deal with Darlow in 2014, is set to sign a new deal at the club.

So too is fellow mainstay Paul Dummett.

The 23-year-old was handed the captain's armband 11 months ago by Benitez on the eve of the club's Championship campaign.

Lascelles, however, knows he is not guaranteed a start on the opening day of the season.

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