Newcastle United are close to signing Atletico Madrid full-back Jesus Gamez – and a centre-half is next on the club’s hitlist.
Gamez is due on Tyneside to complete a move to the big-spending Championship club.
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.Rafa Benitez
The right-back has spent the past two years at the Vicente Calderon Stadium.
And the 31-year-old’s imminent arrival puts a question mark above the future of Daryl Janmaat.
Gamez can also play at left-back and would offer Benitez cover in central defence.
Newcastle – who have already signed Dwight Gayle, Matt Ritchie and Matz Sels – hope to follow Gamez’s signing with that of a central defender following the departures of captain Fabricio Coloccini and Steven Taylor.
Bristol City’s Aden Flint is on United’s transfer radar.
Flint – who has also been watched by Sunderland – is interesting a number of clubs, including Newcastle.
The imposing centre-half has extensive experience of the Championship.
But the Robins, backed by billionaire Steve Lansdown, do not have to sell their best players this summer, and the club hope to keep him at Ashton Gate.
Flint, signed from Swindon Town in 2013, also has three years left on his contract at the ambitious club.
United have also considered moves for Queens Park Rangers’ Steven Caulker and Arsenal’s Jayden Isaac, who spent last season on loan at Hull City.
Benitez – who will take his squad to Ireland next week for a training camp ahead of the July 16 friendly against Bohemian – is hopeful of further progress in the coming days.
Speaking this week, he 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.”