Rafa identifies first summer signing for Newcastle

According to reports from The Sun, Rafa Benitez has identified Bournemouth midfielder Lee Tomlin as his first transfer signing for Newcastle United.

The attacking midfielder impressed at Middlesbrough last season, notching up seven goals in 42 Championship appearances, and moved to Dean Court in summer 2015.

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But the 27-year-old struggled to make an impact for the Cherries and following a six-goal loan spell with Bristol City from January onwards is seemingly surplus to requirements under Eddie Howe.

According to The Sun, Tomlin’s availability – expected to be allowed to leave for around £3million during the summer transfer window – has caught the attention of Newcastle United boss Rafa Benitez.

The Spanish gaffer is currently holding talks over his future on Tyneside as the Magpies prepare for a season in the Championship – the division which has seen Tomlin produce the strongest form of his career.

However, the Toon face competition from fellow second-tier outfit Fulham, who are also targeting the former Peterborough star.