Newcastle United briefing: Magpies linked with THREE big money summer moves, outcast is eyed by Barcelona, Sheffield Wednesday ticket farce continues

Florian Thauvin is being eyed by Barcelona
Florian Thauvin is being eyed by Barcelona

It may be the international break, but that hasn't stopped the Newcastle United headlines rolling in.

Here's a round-up of all things NUFC so far today...

Strikers on the agenda

One thing that is for certain this summer is that United will add a striker to their ranks.

At the start of the January transfer window Benitez had looked into the prospect of signing Scott Hogan, who ended up at Aston Villa, as well as Bournemouth's Callum Wilson.

The move for Wilson could be one that Rafa revisits in the summer, despite the fact he is out with a long-term knee injury.

Reported NUFC target Andre Gray

Reported NUFC target Andre Gray

Dwight Gayle is obviously the Magpies main man at the moment, and it is expected that he will have a big part to play next season, with United closing in on promotion back to the top flight.

The future of Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic and Republic of Ireland international Daryl Murphy are less certain, though.

Benitez has been reluctant to use Mitrovic in recent weeks and despite some suggestions he will be kept on, there are massive questions marks hanging over his head moving forward.

Murphy has been outstanding when called upon by Benitez, but the veteran could well be a casualty of the jump back up to the Premier League.

Callum Wilson, of AFC Bournemouth

Callum Wilson, of AFC Bournemouth

Burnley's Andre Gray is another player who looks to be on Rafa's radar.

The former non-league hitman has netted nine times for Sean Dyche's men this campaign, including a hat-trick against Sunderland, and despite a off-field misdemeanor or two, has generally impressed with his on-field performances.

But having cost the Clarets around £9million two summers ago, Gray is unlikely to come cheap.

Crazy talk

Gylfi Sigurdsson

Gylfi Sigurdsson

Florian Thauvin has been scouted by Barcelona.

Aye, you did read that right.

Coming just a week after the United reject was handed an unlikely France call for his performances with Marseille, Luis Enrique's men are said to have put Thauvin on their watchlist, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Thauvin has said in recent weeks that he will not be returning to St James's Park in the summer, with his loan move to the South of France set to be made permanent, for around £9million.

So, how a move to Barca would work is anyone's guess.

In fact, from the 13 pitiful performances at United it is remarkable to think the Spanish giants would need a second look.

Massadio Haidara

Massadio Haidara

Club legend and current coach hails keeper attitude

It would be easy for a player to turn his nose up at the prospect of playing second string football at a second tier side, especially when you're in the current international squad, but Matz Sels has done nothing of the sort.

According to Peter Beardsley, he's been a shining example to the Magpies' youngsters.

Forgotten man voices frustrations

Massadio Haidara has opened up about his frustrations at life at Newcastle United.

Speaking exclusively to the Gazette, the Frenchman revealed that he is not happy with his lack of first-team game time since recovering from injury at the turn of the year.

Icelandic link

Newcastle have been linked with a summer move for Gylfi Sigurdsson, promotion pending, of course.

The Swansea City playmaker has been a long-term target of Everton, but United could muscle in, if the final eight games go as expected.

Quality player, who would be a solid addition to United's squad, but the amount sounds a touch low.

The fee quoted is £15million. It could take a little more than that for Paul Clement's men to allow the Iceland international to leave.

Ticket farce

Sheffield Wednesday have put the bottom tier of the Hillsbrough West Stand on sale to home fans.

This come as a bitter blow for any NUFC fans hoping to get their hands on a brief for the Championship clash (Saturday, April 8).

A reduced allocation, on police advice, as well as pricing the tickets at £42 (plus a £1 admin charge) has left a bad taste in the mouth ahead of this one.

Now, instead of drip feeding yet more tickets to the away end, as they did with the likes of Aston Villa earlier this season, United have been dealt their lot.

They will be backed by around 3,100 fans, instead of the 5,000+ who watched the same encounter in the promotion season of 2009/10.

For reference Leeds United were handed 4,600 for the sometimes quite volatile Yorkshire Derby this campaign.

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