Newcastle United have been silent on all fronts since the conclusion of the 2018-19 campaign, but here are three things they must do heading into next season.
Aside from the departure of Mohamed Diame, Newcastle United have not done a single thing since the end of the season in mid-may. It is true that we are still in the early stages of the summer and most transfer business will be conducted in July, either with Rafa Benitez or without him, but the Magpies have already fallen behind some Premier League teams.
The best example is yesterday’s announcement that Wesley Moraes, who was Benitez’s top summer target, agreed to a five-year deal with newly-promoted Aston Villa. Newcastle United were Moraes’ top destination, but he chose Aston Villa because of the uncertainty regarding Benitez’s future with the club. This contract stalemate has become a transfer obstruction. That being said, the club needs to make the following moves as soon as possible.
Pay £16.5M for Salomon Rondon
The fact that Salomon Rondon is still waiting for Newcastle United to offer him a permanent deal is ridiculous. He scored 12 goals and provided seven assists last season, West Brom can no longer afford his wages and Wolverhampton and West Ham have stopped pursuing his services. The only other team that has expressed interest in him is Fenerbahce in Turkey, so this is the best possible time for Newcastle United to make an official move for Rondon, especially with Wesley Moraes no longer being available.
Offer Ayoze Perez a New Contract
Ayoze Perez is under contract until 2021, but his impressive form last season has sparked the interest of several clubs, with Valencia being the latest club linked with the attacking midfielder. Perez is only 25-years-old and is enjoying the best form of his career. Together with Miguel Almiron and Salomon Rondon, Perez flourished into a top Premier League talent. He will most likely stay if Benitez signs a contract extension, but regardless of what Benitez does the club should try to convince Perez to stay by offering him more money through a new contract. The last time Perez received a modified contract at Newcastle United was in 2016.
Keep Dwight Gayle
Last, but not least, we have the Dwight Gayle situation. Half of you will agree with me on this one, but I know half of you will adamantly disagree when I say that Dwight Gayle needs to stay on Tyneside for two reasons. Firstly, Yoshinori Muto failed to convince me that he can be a quality backup striker and with Joselu gone the Magpies need more depth in that position. Secondly, like Perez, Gayle can also reach new heights in the 3-4-3 attacking formation that Newcastle United deployed since the arrival of Almiron. If Rondon returns and Perez leaves, Gayle could fill that void and excel on the front-line as an attacking midfielder slightly behind Rondon.