Newcastle must line up a replacement before selling Aleksandar Mitrovic

General view outside St James' Park

While Aleksandar Mitrovic is reportedly a target for Lyon, his departure would currently leave Newcastle United short up front.

Newcastle United have efficiently replaced the departing key men of their victorious Championship campaign this summer.

Vurnon Anita and Yoan Gouffran have left at the end of their contracts, but Javier Manquillo and Jacob Murphy have been brought in, while Grant Hanley's potential exit - with the Shields Gazette suggesting the Scotland defender is available - has already been offset by Florian Lejeune's arrival.

Newcastle United's Grant Hanley celebrates scoring their sixth goal

However, a Newcastle side that could call upon just three recognised forwards last season - and had to use Ayoze Perez and Gouffran in that position in crunch promotion clashes with Brighton and Hove Albion - have also seen Daryl Murphy head for Nottingham Forest.

Just top scorer Dwight Gayle and Aleksandar Mitrovic remain - and the Northern Echo now claims the latter could head for Lyon if the French club table a £13.4 million bid.

While Mitrovic has not quite made the impact hoped for when he first arrived two years ago, scoring 15 goals in all competitions, he remains a useful option and the Magpies cannot rely solely on Gayle.

The 23-goal forward struggled to rediscover form and fitness after suffering an injury at Brentford in January, leading to Mitrovic playing a key - if not scoring - role in the run-in.

Now, Newcastle simply must work to bring in a new front man before they can even consider Mitrovic's sale.

Another injury to Gayle in the opening weeks of the season would leave Rafa Benitez's dreadfully short of options and the Magpies in danger of an early struggle.

Aleksandar Mitrovic celebrates scoring the second goal for Newcastle

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