EXCLUSIVE: Newcastle's Gayle, Hendrick and Clark head to Under 23s

EXCLUSIVE: Newcastle trio Dwight Gayle, Jeff Hendrick and Ciaran Clark are training with their Under 23s, with Eddie Howe’s squad in need of trimming as they eye up moves for Moussa Diaby and Armando Broja

  • Newcastle have three senior players training with their Under 23s this summer
  • Dwight Gayle, Jeff Hendrick and Ciaran Clark all have Championship interest
  • Eddie Howe is unlikely to add any new faces before Newcastle’s Austria trip 

Newcastle trio Dwight Gayle, Jeff Hendrick and Ciaran Clark are training with the club’s Under-23s as they near an exit from St James’ Park, Sportsmail can reveal.

Head coach Eddie Howe has a squad of more than 30 senior professionals and there is a realisation he cannot carry such bloated numbers through pre-season.

This has seen defender Clark and midfielder Hendrick – both Republic of Ireland internationals – as well as striker Gayle rerouted to the club’s academy base.

Dwight Gayle (right) is among the Newcastle players training with the club’s Under 23 squad

Ciaran Clark (right) is also away from the first team as he nears a summer exit from St James’

However, it is expected that all three will move on in the near future as Newcastle look to trim their group and make room for more incomings, with Nick Pope, Matt Targett and Sven Botman already through the door this summer.

The Magpies are talking to a host of Championship clubs, with the majority of outgoings likely to be initially on loan, especially as the likes of Gayle and Hendrick still have two years to run on their contract.

The three players now training separately rarely featured under Howe last season, although we understand there are no issues with any of them.

Jeff Hendrick, who was out on loan at QPR last season, is also away from the first-team squad

Gayle is a proven goalscorer in the second tier and is wanted by Watford and Birmingham

Gayle – a proven Championship goalscorer – has strong interest from Watford and Birmingham City. The latter are also keen on Clark, as are Sheffield United. Hendrick, meanwhile, could be in line for a move to Reading.

Howe takes his squad to Austria for two friendly matches and a training camp next week, but sources say it is unlikely that any new faces will be added before then.

They retain an interest in Leverkusen winger Moussa Diaby and Chelsea forward Armando Broja, although there has been no movement on either in recent days.

Eddie Howe (pictured) has a bloated squad, even before moves for the likes of Armando Broja

Chelsea striker Broja spent last season on loan at Southampton and was hugely impressive

Everton’s Anthony Gordon is admired but Newcastle believe there is close to no chance of taking the 21-year-old from Goodison Park this summer.

For the time being, Howe, the club’s owners and scouting team will assess the market as well as the form and fitness of their current squad during the early weeks of pre-season. A winger and striker remain the key targets but, for now, cutting numbers is as much a priority.

Younger prospects such as Elliot Anderson, Joe White and Kelland Watts will be involved during pre-season friendlies but are expected to head out on loan.

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