Newcastle United briefing: Rafa Benitez leads the way, midfield target rules out move

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez was first through the door at Newcastle United's training ground this morning.

But only familiar faces followed him into the building.

Today is the start of pre-season training at the club.

READ MORE: Why Rafa Benitez would pay a high price if he quit Newcastle

But the only new signing so far this summer has been former loanee Christian Atsu, who was signed from Chelsea on a permanent deal in May.

Here's your daily briefing:

Christian Atsu

Christian Atsu

Early bird

Benitez was keen to get to work on the first day of pre-season training.

But United's manager had been hoping for a few new faces by now.

The club was linked with a number of players, including Chelsea's Ruben Loftus-Cheek, over the weekend.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek

Ruben Loftus-Cheek

However, a frustrated Benitez is still waiting on a transfer breakthrough.

And it remains to be seen whether Yoan Gouffran will return to the club.

There have been talks over a new deal for the out-of-contract forward.

Deal me in

Tom Cairney

Tom Cairney

One player that won't be arriving at Newcastle this summer is Fulham's Tom Cairney.

United enquired about the midfielder ahead of January's transfer window.

Cairney has signed a new deal at Craven Cottage keeping him at Craven Cottage until 2021.

Owls swoop

Grant Hanley's stay at Newcastle looks set to be a short one.

The defender, signed from Blackburn Rovers last summer, is available for transfer.

Grant Hanley

Grant Hanley

And Sheffield Wednesday are leading the race to sign the Scotland international.

Border raid

Fans will get their first glimpse of United on July 14, when Benitez's side take on Heart of Midlothian at Tynecastle.

The club has only been given 1,300 tickets for the friendly because of rebuilding work at the stadium.

Priced at £20 for adults and £10 for over-65s and under-18s, they are now on sale to season-ticket holders with 100-plus loyalty points.

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