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Newcastle transfer round-up: Improved bid for Knockaert imminent; Ayoze Perez going nowhere

General view outside St James' Park

A select round-up of the latest Newcastle United transfer news...

Brighton's Anthony Knockaert in action with Sheffield Wednesday's Ross Wallace

According to the Daily Star, Newcastle United will make an improved offer for Brighton and Hove Albion winger Anthony Knockaert after seeing an initial bid rejected.

The report claims that the Magpies have already seen an initial £8 million offer for the Frenchman turned down, but Rafa Benitez’s side will now go in again with as they look to sign the talented winger.

A recent report in Shields Gazette outlined Brighton’s asking price for Knockaert, with the Championship promotion challengers valuing their key man at £10 million.

The Seagulls only signed the player last January, bringing him in from Belgian club Standard Liege.

Newcastle's Ayoze Perez in action with Bournemouth's Marc Pugh

In other news, Newcastle will not be selling Ayoze Perez to Barcelona this summer (Northern Echo).

The report claims that the Catalan giants want to sign the talented Spanish forward this summer as they look to bring in back-up to the deadly trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Saurez and Brazilian ace Neymar.

However, the Magpies have no intention of selling the player they deem will be a star in the future, with boss Rafa Benitez earmarking him as an important member in the club’s bid to return to the Premier League.

Newcastle's Karl DarlowNewcastle's Karl Darlow

One position where Newcastle are slighly overloaded now is between the sticks, with goalkeepers Karl Darlow, Rob Elliot, Matz Sels and Tim Krul all more than good enough for regular action at this level.

Speaking to the Chronicle, Darlow admits it’s going to be a battle for the number one shirt and adds he must grab the opportunity with both hands when presented to him.

“We’ve got some very good goalkeepers now. It’s going to be a fight all season for who’s going to be playing. When I get a chance, I just need to put my mark on a game and hopefully that will be enough to start the season.”

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez during the press conference

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