Newcastle United are turning their transfer attentions to landing a new striker according to Chronicle Live, with Rafa Benitez dropping a hint that this is an area of the pitch that he will next look to improve.
The report suggests that both Emmanuel Riviere and Aleksandar Mitrovic have been made available for transfer and are deemed as surplus to requirements at St James’ Park.
Newcastle have found the going tough this summer in their recruitment efforts, but Benitez has completed deals to bring Christian Atsu, Jacob Murphy, Florian Lejeune and Javi Manquillo to the north east.
However, the final third looks like an area that the Toon will need to bolster, with the Tyneside club overly reliant on Dwight Gayle for goals.
The former Crystal Palace man played a sizeable role in firing Newcastle to the Championship title last season and will hope to continue this prolific form in front of goal in the Premier League.
But Benitez will surely look to give Gayle support in attack and the signing of a new number nine would certainly be something that would excite the fans – with limited options in reserve currently.
The Newcastle manager has suggested that centre forward is an area that he wants to address when asked about the strikers at the club.
“We are trying to change some players,” Benitez told Chronicle Live.
“We have to wait to see the right offers and then after we will see if we can add some players.
“I think we need some more players. I wouldn’t say how many, but it also depends on the market.
“Mike (Ashley) convinced me he would give us the last penny of the money available. We are not asking for more, we are asking for the money we can use.
“We can generate some more money. Hopefully we can do that.”
Riviere was signed from Monaco in 2014 but has scored just one Premier League goal for Newcastle in his time at the club.
The 27-year-old is firmly on the fringes of the Toon squad and will surely be sold before the end of August.
Mitrovic arrived at Newcastle with a stellar reputation given his form for Anderlecht and the Serbia national team, but he has not shown the consistency that the club needs over recent seasons.
While the centre forward’s passion resonates with the St James’ Park fans, it appears that his questionable temperament could mark the end of his time in the north east.
Newcastle have a rich history of prominent number nines and the club’s supporters will hope that a new cult hero is added this summer.
However, in an inflated and very competitive transfer market, it remains to be seen just who the Geordies can sign at an affordable price that can score the goals needed to make the side competitive in the Premier League.