North-East latest: 'Boro want three Chelsea prospects, Newcastle target set to stay in Ligue 1

We bring you the latest news from Newcastle United, Sunderland and Middlesbrough

1) Clement Grenier staying with Lyon

Clement Grenier has said that he is happy to stay at Lyon for the upcoming season, despite reported interest from Newcastle United and Arsenal.

The Magpies had been trying to deal with the Ligue 1 side for the midfielder for much of the summer so far, but have not been able to negotiate a price and it seems as if they would have their work cut out persuading the 23-year-old to move to St. James’ Park even if they did meet a compromise on the fee.

"I have read a lot of things about myself recently,” Grenier posted on his own personal website.

"Just to be clear, Lyon's medical and technical staff have set me a specific programme so I can be back at 100 per cent."

"That includes a period spent training indoors. That is why I have not been present at some of the training sessions."

"I have no problem with the club and have never missed a training session intentionally."

"There is no controversy and my intention is to be back on the pitch and competing as soon as possible."

2) Cheik Tiote backs Newcastle singings

Newcastle United midfielder Cheik Tiote believes that Alan Pardew’s additions this summer have made the Magpies a stronger side.

The club have brought in the likes of Daryl Janmaat, Emmanuel Rivière, Ayoze Perez and Siem De Jong so far this summer and the enforcer thinks that this will enable them to put in an impressive performance in the Premier League this season.

“The squad looks stronger than it was last year,” the Ivorian international said.

“Hopefully, we will do well on the pitch this season – better than last season.”

3) Sunderland to do battle for Abel Hernandez

Sunderland and Southampton will fight it out to sign Abel Hernandez from Palermo this summer, according to the Italian media.

Hernandez is a rapid centre-forward and has reportedly been lined up as a top target for Sunderland by Gus Poyet as he looks to strengthen his side for the upcoming season.

However, he will have competition from Saints as they look to add to their depleted squad to cover for the mass exodus that has occurred down on the south-coast this summer.

Hernandez bagged 14 times in 28 games last campaign – and if he does come to England he will be hoping to recreate that form in the Premier League.

4) Connor Wickham warned he may be sold

Sunderland have told Connor Wickham that he must sign a new deal or risk being sold this summer.

The youngster has been offered an improved contract at the Stadium of Light, but he has stalled over signing it and the club are getting frustrated with his reluctance to extend his deal.

Wickham’s deal expires next year and Sunderland are not prepared to risk losing him on a free.

“For me, Connor’s situation is clear,” said Poyet.

“He needs to sign a new contract or we let him go – we sell him."

“There is nothing in between."

“He is an asset to the football club, and we paid a lot of money for him.”

Leicester City have been heavily linked to Wickham previously this summer and this news may encourage them to try their luck again.

5) Middlesbrough looking to do deals for three Chelsea youngsters

Middlesbrough are hoping to bring in three more Chelsea youngsters on loan after completing a deal for Kenneth Omeruo.

The Nigerian international enjoyed his time at the Riverside last season and they are hoping that the productivity of Omeruo’s last loan spell at the club will encourage the Blues to allow them to sign more of their promising youngsters.

Patrick Bamford is understood to be of interest to ‘Boro, but the other two potential additions are unknown.

It will be a good opportunity for Jose Mourinho to get the youngsters in his set-up first-team football with the route to Chelsea’s first-team particularly hard due to the amount of stars in their team.

The Portuguese boss spoke of his desire to create an English core at Stamford Bridge in the future so is likely to be keen on getting his players temporary moves so they are experienced in the Football League before making the step-up at Chelsea.

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