Three marquee signings Mike Ashley must make to take Newcastle to Europe

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley could be forced to give manager Rafa Benitez what he wants in terms of money to spend this summer following rumoured interest in the Spaniard from Premier League rivals West Ham United.

The former Real Madrid and Liverpool boss will be determined to get the budget that he needs to take the Tyneside outfit to the next level, following an impressive 10th-place finish in their first season back in the top flight.

While they enjoyed a successful campaign, they did lack quality at times – see the four successive defeats they suffered after they had preserved their top flight status for at least another 12 months – and the 58-year-old will want to bring some quality players to St James’ Park this summer in order for the Magpies to be competing for European football.

Burnley showed that is a realistic aim by qualifying for the Europa League with a seventh-place finish this term, but with the likes of Everton, West Ham United, Leicester City and Southampton sure to get stronger this summer, there could be a lot more competition for that spot during the 2018/19 campaign.

With investment they can do it though, but the Sports Direct tycoon needs to give Benitez the money to bring players who may not come on the cheap to the club, and it is something that the St James’ Park faithful are demanding he does on Twitter.

Here are three marquee signings Ashley must make to take Newcastle to the Europa League…