NEWCASTLE United face a tough summer off the pitch – after a difficult few months on the field.
The Magpies will confirm the capture of 20-year-old Tenerfie striker Ayoze Perez next month.
But Newcastle need to make as many as half a dozen more signings between now and the end of August, when the summer transfer window closes.
The Tynesiders need to sign a replacement for January departure Yohan Cabaye and Loic Remy, who spent the 2013/14 season on loan at St James’s Park.
Manager Alan Pardew thrashed out a transfer strategy with owner Mike Ashley and newly-appointed managing director Lee Charnley earlier this month.
And Pardew – backed by Ashley despite calls from fans for his sacking after a dismal run of results since the turn of the year – is braced for a challenging few months. “There’s a lot of negotiating to do and a lot of work to do this summer – there’s no doubt about that,” Pardew said.
Pardew – who was pictured attending the Monaco Grand Prix last weekend – has seen Shola Ameobi and Dan Gosling leave the club.
Long-serving Jonas Gutierrez could be another departure, having been sent out on loan last season.
And Newcastle, who will activate Perez’s £1.8million release clause, need to add both strength and depth to a squad which has been found wanting in recent seasons.
Perez, 20, is still playing – Tenerife’s Segunda Division campaign ends next month – and the deal will be finalised once he has kicked his last ball for the club.
Perez will sign a five-year Newcastle deal, according to reports in Spain.
Newcastle are also tracking Montpellier’s Remy Cabella and Lyon’s Clement Grenier. The attacking midfielders were the subject of interest from the club after Cabaye’s sale to Paris Saint-Germain.
In an interview this week, Cabella suggested he was keen to move to the Premier League, and Grenier is interested in a move to Tyneside.
And it is inconceivable that the pair – both France internationals – would not have discussed the club with United’s large French contingent.
Grenier is in Didier Deschamps’ 23-man squad for the World Cup along with Magpies Mathieu Debuchy and Moussa Sissoko, while Cabella is on standby.
One player who is not a target is 31-year-old midfielder Steve Sidwell, who played under Pardew at Reading and is out of contract at Fulham this summer.
Meanwhile, defenders Davide Santon and Steven Taylor have again been linked with moves.
Santon’s agent, however, has suggested that the 23-year-old – who is settled on Tyneside – is in line for a new deal at St James’s Park.
And Taylor, reportedly the subject of interest from newly-promoted QPR, is not understood to be surplus to requirements at Newcastle, despite a frustrating season on the fringes.
The 28-year-old has been assured he still has a future with the Magpies.