Newcastle linked with Nice striker Plea

Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez. Picture by Frank Reid
Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez. Picture by Frank Reid

Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez has stepped up his summer recruitment plans – with a number of strikers on his radar.

The Spaniard has guided the Magpies to the brink of Premier League survival with three successive wins to rise to 10th in the table.

While Benitez remains cautious until survival is mathematically certain, he has already started planning his summer recruitment.

A striker remains top of his wishlist, with Newcastle keen to add more firepower.

Islam Slimani has failed to make an impact since his deadline-day arrival in January, due to injury and unavailability, and Newcastle’s form surge has come thanks to goals from the likes of Ayoze Perez and Kenedy.

The Tynesiders have been linked with Nice forward Alassane Plea, who has has scored 18 times for the Ligue 1 side this term.

The Frenchman, who can play on the wing or through the middle, burst onto the scene last term, with 14 goals, and has continued that form this campaign.

The 25-year-old has also attracted the attention of Everton and Burnley and could be available for £15million in the summer.

Newcastle were also linked with a speculative swoop for Athletico Madrid legend Fernando Torres, who announced this week he would leave his boyhood club at the end of the season.

Benitez worked with Torres at Liverpool, but the chances of Newcastle signing a 34-year-old whose best days are behind him are slim.

Dutchman Bas Dost, who has fired 30 goals for Sporting Lisbon and again linked with Newcastle, is believed to be looking to leave the Portuguese club.