How Newcastle United could line up next season if Rafael Benitez gets financial backing in the transfer market
Rafael Benitez has worked wonders at Newcastle United since taking over in 2016.
Although he could not prevent the Magpies from slipping into the Championship, his first full season saw the club make an instant return to the Premier League.
After keeping the club up last year, Benitez is agonisingly close to repeating the feat.
Friday night’s win over Leicester City means Newcastle require just one more win to secure top-flight football next season.
However, the Spaniard is in danger of not having his ambition matched by the north-east giants.
According to The Times, Mike Ashley is in no rush to provide the former Chelsea boss with the funds he feels are necessary to compete.
The 59-year-old provided Ashley with a wish list in the week before the game against Arsenal on April 1, but is still yet to hear a response.
With his contract up in May, the clock is ticking for Benitez.
However, the confusion has not stopped the transfer rumour mill from churning out some juicy gossip concerning the ‘Toon Army’.
According to the Daily Star, Bournemouth duo Ryan Fraser and David Brooks are on Newcastle’s radar along with Burnley wonderkid Dwight McNeil.
Of course, this is pure speculation and likely to depend on Benitez staying at the club.
But, should the Magpies keep the Spaniard and back him in the transfer market, they will have quite the side.
So how could Newcastle United line up next season? Scroll down to see how talkSPORT.com believes they *could* look next season.
Since the turn of the year, Benitez has opted for a back five system which relies on attacking wing backs to bomb forward and provide forward.
But with Matt Ritchie reportedly free to leave in the summer, the club could lose one of their most integral members.
During his time at the Vitality Stadium, Fraser has played in both a right and left wing-back role to devastating effect.
With Ritchie potentially on his way out, the Scot could fit seamlessly into his role.
With Brooks potentially pulling the strings in the No.10 role, Dwight McNeil could excel.
LATEST TRANSFER STORIES
The Burnley winger has blistering speed, tricky feet and has a penchant for scoring goals.
Naturally left-footed, the 19-year-old could excel by cutting inside from the right if he swaps with January signing Miguel Almiron.
So how could it all look? Check out this graphic for a potential starting XI for next season.
Source: SportsLatest TS