Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has reportedly been handed a transfer budget of up to £100 million to strengthen the squad this summer.
The former Real Madrid boss has already admitted the current set up needs serious improvement – but which players should Newcastle target to achieve the increasingly difficult goal of Premier League survival next season?
Here are three potential targets the Magpies should seriously consider when tackling the transfer market this summer.
Joshua King – Bournemouth
Bournemouth forward Joshua King’s 16 Premier League goals this season are arguably the reason the Cherries haven’t found themselves in a relegation battle.
Strong, quick and with an eye for goal, the 25-year-old offers an intriguing mix of the qualities shown by current Magpies strikers Dwight Gayle and Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Newcastle could well have to break their transfer record to land King, given the player’s imperious form this year – but that is something that Benitez will argue must happen to give his side any chance of survival next term.
Oh, and the Norway international scored the goal that relegated Sunderland last month – he should be a hero with the Geordie faithful already!
Kamil Grosicki – Hull City
Poland international Grosicki has excelled for Hull City this season, deservedly picking up the PFA Player of the Month for April.
The diminutive winger has an exceptional work-rate and doesn’t shy away from the defensive side of the game, something that will appeal highly to Benitez.
With Yoan Gouffran still yet to be offered a new deal, the Magpies will be looking for a winger who can defend as part of a unit while offering exceptional qualities going forward – Grosicki has all of that in abundance.
With Hull relegated, the 28-year-old will want to stay in the Premier League and a cut-price deal could well be on the cards this summer.
Mikel San Jose
Mikel San Jose has established himself as one of the top defensive players in Spain with Athletic Bilbao.
Able to play at both centre-half and as a defensive midfielder, the 27-year-old would offer some much needed experience and versatility to Newcastle’s ranks for next season.
Interestingly, San Jose signed for Premier League rivals Liverpool as an 18-year-old – while Benitez was manager of the Anfield club.
The player never made a league appearance during his time in the North West and the challenge of proving he is good enough to play in England could well tempt the defender to leave the Basque club.
With Bilbao currently embroiled in a battle to secure a Europa League place, San Jose could see this summer as the perfect time to link up with his old boss and tackle the Premier League once again.