Newcastle unlikely to strengthen in time for Hearts friendly

Newcastle have baulked at Boro's price tag for Adama Traore. Picture by Tom Collins
Newcastle have baulked at Boro's price tag for Adama Traore. Picture by Tom Collins
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Newcastle United’s hopes of a transfer breakthrough have receded ahead of the club’s first pre-season friendly.

Rafa Benitez’s side kick off their warm-up programme on Friday night with a game against Scottish Premiership club Hearts at Tynecastle

Benitez is frustrated at a lack of progress in the transfer market.

Newcastle have signed two players – defender Florian Lejeune and winger Christian Atsu – so far this summer.

The club has seen summer targets Tammy Abraham, Willy Caballero and Ruben Loftus-Cheek join other clubs, while an £8million bid for winger Jacob Murphy has been turned down by Norwich City.

And goalkeeper Pepe Reina is set to sign a new contract at Napoli keeping him at the club until 2019, according to reports in Italy.

Benitez spoke about what he feels is a “crazy” transfer market this week.

United’s manager, however, is hopeful that the club can get the players it needs for the coming Premier League campaign.

“We know where we are,” said Benitez, who will take his players to Ireland next week for a pre-season training camp.

“We have to keep working and trying to find the players we want. Hopefully, we can do it.”

Newcastle are expected to return with an improved offer for 22-year-old Murphy, who scored two goals against Benitez’s side in the Championship last season.

Middlesbrough’s Adama Traore is another option, but United have baulked at the winger’s £10million price tag.

The two clubs have been involved in discussions over Newcastle goalkeeper Karl Darlow.

Middlesbrough have had a £5million bid rejected by United.