Newcastle United briefing: Lucas Perez update, club announce open day

Mike Ashley, centre, and Lee Charnley
Mike Ashley, centre, and Lee Charnley

Mike Ashley wants to see some transfer movement at Newcastle United.

The club has signed five players so far this summer – and Rafa Benitez wants more new signings.

But owner Ashley is concerned at the number of unwanted players at the club.

READ MORE: Newcastle’s Ayoze Perez: The real competition starts now – and we know the importance of that

Here's your daily briefing:

Sell! Sell! Sell!

Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez

Benitez insisted that he didn't need to sell to buy after Sunday's 2-0 win over Hellas Verona.

But Benitez and managing director Lee Charnley ARE under pressure to move players out of the club.

United's manager has told Tim Krul, Achraf Lazaar and Emmanuel Riviere to train at the club's Academy, and a number of other players, including Grant Hanley, are available for transfer.

“We are trying to move players out to bring players in,” said Benitez. “We know where we are and what we need.”

Achraf Lazaar

Achraf Lazaar

Benitez and Charnley, however, know that the wages earned by the likes of Hanley, Lazaar and Riviere will prove to be a barrier to getting them out of the club.

Meanwhile, defender Callum Williams, 20, has joined Gateshead on a half-season loan.

In the lead?

Benitez is keen on Arsenal striker Lucas Perez.

Lucas Perez, second left

Lucas Perez, second left

And a report in Spain has claimed that Newcastle now "lead" the race for the 28-year-old, who wants to leave the Emirates Stadium this summer

Perez only played a handful of games for Arsenal last season following his move from Deportivo La Coruna.

"I like the player, because I have good friends in La Coruna," said Benitez.

"I know that he did really well. He's come here and not played in many games, but I like the player."

Not like the brochure

“It’s not like it said in the brochure.”

Those were Kevin Keegan's famous words in 1992.

Benitez is also unhappy with the club's slow progress in the transfer market.

So is history about to repeat itself at Newcastle?

Open day

Newcastle today announced an open day at St James's Park.

The club will throw up its doors on Thursday, August 17.

Fans will be able to watch Rafa Benitez put his players through their paces.

The event will be free of charge.

And finally...

While Benitez – and most United fans – feel the club is still short of players ahead of Sunday's season-opener against Tottenham Hotspur, Verona coach Fabio Pecchia had some encouraging words after his team's defeat at St James's Park.

Pecchia had a three-month spell at Newcastle with Benitez the season before last before leaving to take charge of the Italian club.

Asked about United's prospects, Pecchia said: “Newcastle is a strong team, and is ready to play at the next match against Tottenham. They are ready.

“Rafa can work with this team from the beginning (of pre-season).

“The objective is to maintain their status, and Rafa, with this team, can do this.”

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