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Newcastle United round-up: Lascelles contract; Benitez returns; Shelvey set for U23 action

Jake Jackman

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Newcastle

Newcastle United have entered into contract talks with Jamaal Lascelles, according to the Chronicle. The club are keen to tie their captain down for the long-term and that desire will have grown over the weekend after an excellent performance against Swansea City. The defender is on England’s radar and is surely a future international. Although he has three years left on his current deal, the Magpies are thought to have discussed an improved deal.

This would be a good move from Newcastle. Since he signed his last contract, he has been made club captain and a pay-rise has been earned. He needs to be given better terms in order to keep him happy as other clubs will be keeping an eye on him. There are few quality English defenders and Lascelles is a proven leader. At the age of 23, he is the youngest Premier League captain and has the potential to become a great defender.

Rafa Benitez wasn’t on the touchline during the weekend’s victory over Swansea City after his hernia operation. However, the Chronicle report that he has now returned to Tyneside after being declared fit for work again by his medics. The Newcastle boss will be back at the training ground tomorrow and will start to plan for the upcoming fixture against Stoke City.

It was a blow for the Spaniard to miss the most recent fixture, but his coaching staff and players managed to get the three points without him. Benitez still had a huge influence on the game, but it will be a boost to have him back on the training ground. There have been rumours about his future and it will be interesting to see what he says about that in the next press conference. A lot of questions need to be answered.

Jonjo Shelvey will be given a chance to press for a first-team recall on Monday night. The Chronicle report that the midfielder will play for the second string against Norwich City. The England international hasn’t played since the opening weekend of the season and needs to gain match practice. He has agreed to play in the game and there are a few other first-team players that are expected to feature.

The form of Isaac Hayden and Mikel Merino has meant that Shelvey will have a difficult battle to get back into the first-team. There is no doubting his ability, but he is no longer trusted after an idiotic red card against Tottenham. He has to work his way back into Benitez’s good books and an outing in an Under-23 game is a good place to start, as it shows a mature attitude.

Jake is a journalist based in the South East. He is a Newcastle United fan and has a keen interest in Dutch football. Jake can be found on Twitter here - @jakejackmann.

Newcastle United

Newcastle United fans divided after Nicolai Jorgensen performance

The Danish striker has long been linked with a move to Newcastle United.

Mathew Nash

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Denmark played out a 1-1 draw with Australia in the World Cup this afternoon. A controversial penalty was converted by Aston Villa midfielder Mile Jedinak to give the Socceroos a deserved draw against their European opponents. But the opening goal of the game might have been one of the best in the tournament so far.

Christian Eriksen smashed home a delicious left-foot half-volley to give the Danes the lead. However, it was the assist from a Newcastle United target that had fans talking on social media.

Nicolai Jorgensen played a brilliant reverse pass into the path of Eriksen. The Feyenoord striker has long been linked with Newcastle United. Over the weekend The Sun reported that Newcastle would need to pay £20 million for the player.

Newcastle were previously linked with the player in January, with a £15 million bid being rejected.

(Photo credit should read OLAF KRAAK/AFP/Getty Images)

That interest appears to have continued and it is easy to see why. Jorgensen was the Eredivisie’s top scorer in 2016-17, scoring 25 goals in 45 games.

But there is also a case suggesting he is not worth the money. He scored just 13 goals last season and against Peru in the opening game of the World Cup he struggled.

It is clear that scoring goals is not really his specialty. His link-up play is brilliant but some Newcastle fans feel he would simply not score goals in England.

Here is how Newcastle United fans reacted to his display…

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Newcastle United

Newcastle should move for Senegal star M’Baye Niang

Newcastle are looking for attacking additions this summer.

Jamie Watts

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Newcastle United are reportedly in the market for new forwards this summer, according to the Northern Echo, with Rafa Benitez identifying the Magpies’ attacking output as a key weakness last term, despite their impressive 10th place finish. And a new target should emerge from yesterday’s World Cup clash between Senegal and Poland.

The Africans surprisingly came away as victors, having been helped by two massive defensive errors from the European outfit, with Grzegorz Krychowiak’s late goal proving nothing more than a consolation.

Torino striker M’Baye Niang proved to be a thorn in the side of Poland all game, landing the man of the match award, as his pace and power proved too much for Thiago Rangel Cionek and accomplished right-back Lukasz Piszczek to deal with.

Photo: Getty Images

His shining moment came in the 60th minute, when he returned onto the field of play from injury and promptly latched onto a poor back-pass, eventually rounding the out-rushing Wojciech Szczesny and slotting into an empty net – notably scoring his first ever Senegal goal with his first shot on target.

And Newcastle should be keeping an eye on the 23-year-old throughout the tournament. Current targets such as Salomon Rondon and Jordan Ayew are underwhelming for fans and Rafa Benitez could look to make a statement by bringing in the former Watford loanee.

His physicality and raw speed suit the Premier League to a tee, and given regular playing-time the forward could become a sensation in England. However, he has recently agreed to join Torino on a permanent basis, meaning any deal would likely be a loan deal at the moment. A deal is still possible though, as Niang will be likely play second-fiddle to Andrea Belotti next term.

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Newcastle United should rekindle Miguel Layun interest after stunning World Cup performance

The 29-year-old was wanted by Newcastle last summer.

Mathew Nash

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Mexico caused a World Cup shock yesterday, defeating reigning champions Germany 1-0 in Moscow. It was a fantastic performance by El Tri, who decimated the world champions with a fearsome display of counter-attacking football.

There were many performances that caught the eye, with Javier Hernandez, Hirving Lozano and Hector Herrera all outstanding. But former Watford man Miguel Layun also put in a tremendous display.

It was one which will hopefully see Newcastle United rekindle their efforts to sign him.

Playing on the right-hand side of midfield he was a constant thorn in the side of Marvin Plattenhardt for Germany. Meanwhile, his impressive ability to work up and down the pitch the entire game left Julian Draxler completely nullified.

(Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

Currently contracted to Porto he spent the second half of last season with Sevilla, who have a permanent deal lined up. However, last summer saw Newcastle linked with a move for the player.

Valued at £6 million, Rafa Benitez is reportedly a fan and wanted him to help their survival hopes last term- as reported by Record, among others. No deal ever came off but 12 months down the line Newcastle should try again.

Layun proved against Germany just how impressive an athlete he is. The 29-year-old is also extremely versatile. Capable at both left and right-back, on either wing or even in central midfield he would solve many problems for Newcastle United.

With Sevilla dawdling over a permanent deal for the Mexican the Magpies should consider coming knocking once again.

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