1) Pardew still hunting for two more additions
Alan Pardew is hoping to add a striker and a right-back to the club before the end of the transfer window.
The Newcastle United boss has been on the hunt for much of the summer so far for a front-man, but has found all of his efforts blocked.
However, he is not giving up hope and as he searches for a player who can fill the void left by Loic Remy’s return to QPR.
Newcastle have enquired about the availability of Romelu Lukaku, but have had to move away due to Chelsea’s £20million price-tag and it is a similar story for Alexandre Lacazatte, who Lyon want £16million for.
The Magpies simply won’t pay that sort of money and, therefore, are having to search elsewhere with Shakhtar Donetsk hitman, Facundo Ferreyra, reportedly top of their list.
The Argentine striker could be available for £5million and that is a price which is within Newcastle’s budget, meaning his transfer is far more likely.
Pardew is also hoping to bring in another right-back, despite the addition of Daryl Janmaat. Newcastle see the Dutchman as their first-choice in this position, but are seeking cover and could opt to make a move for Arsenal’s Carl Jenkinson in the near future.
2) Pardew keen to test new systems
Alan Pardew is experimenting with new tactical formations ahead of the new Premier League campaign.
Newcastle United adopted a 3-5-2 system in their pre-season friendly against Wellington Phoenix, which they won 1-0, and Pardew says that it is a good experience for his players.
“We changed the system in the first half, just to have a look at certain things,” he said.
“It was designed for Siem (de Jong), and when he went off it did not really work for us so we went back to our normal shape and did better after that.
“Changing players’ roles is a good thing because when you are chasing games you need to be able to change your system if you are up against a brick wall.”
Only one of his central defensive places are secure, with Fabricio Coloccini one of the first names on the Newcastle United teamsheet, but it appears Steven Taylor is currently leading the race to partner him when the competitive season begins.
3) Cristian Rodriguez on verge of Sunderland switch
Uruguyuan midfielder Cristian Rodriguez is close to completing a move to Sunderland, after holding talks with the club over the weekend.
Rodriguez, a member of Uruguay’s World Cup squad this summer, reportedly held a meeting with Sunderland to talk about a potential move on Saturday and it is thought the discussions were successful.
The Atletico midfielder is known to be keen on a move away from the club after being consigned to the bench for much of last season, as the La Liga outfit won the division, and Sunderland have jumped to the front of his queue for his signature.
It now appears a deal could be concluded in the near future.
4) Emanuele Giaccherini enjoying life at Sunderland
Emanuele Giaccherini has been linked with a move away from the Stadium of Light for much of the summer so far, but he says that he is enjoying their pre-season schedule.
The likes of Napoli and Roma have both been reportedly interested in signing the Italian winger, who failed to make the desired impact on Wearside last season, but Giaccherini has his attention firmly on the task ahead of Sunderland.
He says that the pre-season training has been very good so far and that the team can improve on last season’s performance this time around.
“It’s good to be here and we have started very well,” Giaccherini told the club’s official site.
“The first two weeks in Sunderland were hard work with two training sessions every day and good running. Now we are in Portugal it is a good environment and good for everybody being together.
“We have important games for fitness and preparation for the start of the season. The team is looking good and everybody is working hard.”
5) Patrick Bamford set for Middlesbrough move
Highly rated Chelsea striker Patrick Bamford is set to complete a move to Middlesbrough in the near future.
Bamford spent time out on loan at MK Dons and Derby County last season, where he was prolific, and he is now set to move away from Stamford Bridge on a temporary basis again – joining Championship side Middlesbrough.
He will be the answer to ‘Boro’s goalscoring problems from last season and will finally put an end for Aitor Karanka’s search for a striker, which has lasted for the duration of the transfer window so far.