Report names three top Newcastle transfer targets for Benitez, including Lewis Cook

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez applauds fans after the game

Rafael Benitez reportedly wants Brighton defender Lewis Dunk, Leeds teenager Lewis Cook and Derby midfielder Will Hughes.

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez applauds fans after the gameNewcastle manager Rafael Benitez applauds fans

According to The Sun, Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez has three transfer targets in mind having agreed to stay in charge at St. James' Park.

Despite suffering relegation to the Championship, manager Benitez - who only let Real Madrid in January - has now committed his future to Newcastle, as the Magpies confirmed on their official website on Wednesday evening that the Spaniard has signed a new three-year contract.

Now, Benitez has to plan for something he's never encountered before - putting together a team that can challenge for promotion from the Championship.

Having agreed to stay at Newcastle, Benitez should receive major funding for transfers, and The Sun believe he already has three top targets in mind.

Lewis Dunk celebrates scoring the first goal for BrightonLewis Dunk celebrates scoring for Brighton

The report claims that Benitez has set his sights on Brighton and Hove Albion centre back Lewis Dunk, who has racked up almost 150 appearances for hometown club Brighton.

The 6ft 4in centre back, 24, is one of the top defenders in the Championship and played a key part in Brighton's push for promotion this past season.

Leeds United's Lewis Cook and Preston North End's Paul Gallacher in actionLeeds United's Lewis Cook and Preston North End's Paul Gallagher in action

As well as Dunk, Benitez is believed to be keen on luring Leeds United teenager Lewis Cook to the North East, who has become one of the top young English prospects.

The 19-year-old midfielder has been the heartbeat of the Leeds side for the past two seasons, and with Benitez seeking Championship-ready players who can step up to the Premier League in the future, Cook is believed to be a top target, with his contract at Elland Road expiring next summer.

Derby's Will HughesDerby's Will Hughes

Finally, Derby midfielder Will Hughes is also thought to be on Benitez's wish list. The Rams star had spent most of the season out through injury but came back for the final weeks as Derby reached the play-offs - and much like Cook, he's' one of the most highly-rated young English players around.

Newcastle will have to fork out big money to land all three, but with Benitez being backed by the Magpies hierarchy, some huge offers could be made by Newcastle this summer.

Would you like to see Newcastle sign Dunk, Cook and Hughes?

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