Newcastle United players report back for pre-season training

Newcastle United’s players reported back for the start of pre-season training today.

Eddie Howe’s players started arriving early this morning ahead of an initial round of fitness testing at the club’s Benton base, which is being extended this summer.

United’s international players, including Kieran Trippier and Fabian Schar, have been given extra time off by Howe, who was appointed last November.

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A number of players are facing uncertain futures at the club, which has signed Sven Botman, Nick Pope and Matt Targett so far in the transfer window.

Matt Ritchie, Ciaran Clark and Federcio Fernandez are out of contract at the end of the season, and tipped for summer exits. Matty Longstaff, back from a half-season loan at Mansfield Town, also only has a year left on his contract.

The club’s first pre-season friendly is a behind-closed-doors fixture against Gateshead, managed by former Newcastle defender Mike Williamson, on July 9. The club will then travel to Austria for a week-long training camp which will see Howe’s team take on 1860 Munich and Mainz 05 on July 15 and 18 respectively.

United will take on Benfica at the Estadio da Luz on July 26. The game is followed by back-to-back home friendlies against Atalanta and Athletic Bilbao on July 29 and 30.

Matt Ritchie and Ryan Fraser arrive for the start of pre-season training.

The club is modernising its training ground, which was built 20 years ago, this summer. Planners at North Tyneside Council this week gave a proposed extension the go-ahead.

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Newcastle finished 11th in the Premier League last season following a mid-season revival under Howe.