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Sport Newcastle handed the toughest of starts to the new season

12:26  14 june  2018
12:26  14 june  2018 Source:   readsport.co

Newcastle target Lovro Majer set for Zagreb move

  Newcastle target Lovro Majer set for Zagreb move Newcastle look set to miss out on NK Lokomotiva midfielder Lovro Majer, who is set to sign for Dinamo Zagreb. According to a report from Calcio Mercato, as cited on Shields Gazette, the player was attracting interest from both Newcastle and Italian side Sampdoria. The latter, who have been long-term admirers of the player, has reportedly lodged a £8 million bid to land the 20-year-old this summer. Majer was valued at £10 million, but will now put pen to paper on a five-year deal with Zagreb. The player is an attacking midfielder and scored 11 goals in 30 appearances last season. Benitez has been looking to add more goals to his squad this summer, with the Magpies hoping to improve their quality in the final third. Ayoze Perez was United’s leading goalscorer last season with just 10 league goals and Dwight Gayle in second with just six to his name.

Arsenal face the toughest possible start to their title bid after being paired with resurgent Liverpool and ­champions Manchester United in the first two weeks of the new season . Choker: Cheik Tiote equalises for Newcastle in last season 's dramatic 4-4 draw with Arsenal.

Which boss faces a difficult start to the new season ? Claudio Ranieri has a tough job on his hands at Leicester. There were goals galore in Southampton's meeting with Newcastle last season .

Newcastle United v Chelsea - Premier League © Ian MacNicol/Getty Images Sport Newcastle United v Chelsea - Premier League

Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle United have been given a tough opening run for the new Premier League season.

It has been confirmed that the Magpies will start their campaign against Tottenham at home, but then face Cardiff, Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal.

Games against Fulham, Liverpool and Watford will see the club endure a busy Christmas period before Manchester United make the trip to St James’ Park on New Years’ Day.

Should the club find themselves in another relegation battle then Benitez will be slightly happier with the club’s end-of-season run-in.

In their final five games of the season, the Magpies face Leicester, Southampton, Brighton, Liverpool and Fulham. However, Benitez and many of the club’s supporters will be hoping that is not the case come that stage of the season.

As with every year, fixtures and kick-off times are all subject to change as and when the relevant games are chosen for broadcasting.

Newcastle's Mbemba closing in on Porto move .
Newcastle United defender Chancel Mbemba is close to agreeing a summer switch to Portuguese side Porto. According to HLN, Mbemba is close to leaving the club after being heavily linked with a move away from St James’ Park. Hoffenheim and Anderlecht have both been linked with the defender, who was largely used as a rotational option for the Magpies this season. Anderlecht remain keen on a deal to bring the player back to Belgium but are likely to miss out on the defender, with the report claiming that a deal could be completed within the coming days. The 23-year-old started just seven Premier League games for Newcastle last season, with Rafa Benitez opting to use summer signing Florian Lejeune. Mbemba impressed during Newcastle’s promotion campaign from the Championship but has been unable to make the step up the Premier League. The defender joined Newcastle back in 2015 from Anderlecht prior to their relegation.

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