Siem de Jong is ready to hit the ground running for Newcastle United.
Vice-captain De Jong, signed from Ajax last summer, missed much of his first campaign at St James’s Park through injury.
But the forward – who suffered a thigh tear and a collapsed lung last season – is hoping to play in the Magpies’ pre-season friendly opener against Gateshead on Friday.
De Jong wrote on Twitter: “Can’t wait for our first game this Friday!”
New boss Steve McClaren is looking forward to having de Jong available for the new Premier League campaign, though the 26-year-old must first prove his fitness under the guidance of new fitness coach Alessandro Schoenmaker, signed from Derby.
McClaren has earmarked de Jong as a match-winner.
“Siem de Jong’s a player I know well,” said ex-Twente boss McClaren. “He was my nightmare in Holland!
“Siem is a smart, intelligent player and I’m looking forward to working with him.
“He’s a difference maker.
“You need a few difference makers in your team and he’s one of them.”
Newcastle winger Sammy Ameobi has joined Championship club Cardiff City on a season-long loan – after signing a new two-year deal at St James’s Park.
Ameobi, who scored twice in 27 appearances last season, tweeted: “Delighted to join @CardiffCityFC for the season, can’t wait to get started.”
Cardiff chief executive Ken Choo said: “We’re delighted to have Sammy on board having hand-picked him specifically for his creativity and skill.
“Sammy has Barclays Premier League experience to the tune of more than 50 top-flight appearances. We will continue to search for the right players who have specific skill sets and good character.”
Meanwhile, Liverpool and Tottenham are interested in signing Newcastle midfielder Olivier Kemen, according to a report in his native France.
Kemen, with France for the European U19 Championships in Greece, joined the Tynesiders from Metz two years ago though he is yet to play a competitive first-team game.
Freed Newcastle forward Adam Campbell has signed a two-year deal at Notts County after a successful trial. The 20-year-old said: “It’s a great move for me. I wanted somewhere I can play football and get back to enjoying myself.”
Goalkeeper Jak Alnwick, also released by Newcastle, is on trial at Leeds United.