Newcastle want Twente twosome to prepare for top-four push

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Newcastle will feel that the acquisition of three or four players this summer could provide a more than realistic chance of them breaking into the top four this season and their search for new recruits is to begin at FC Twente.

Having won the Dutch title under Steve McLaren in 2010 and then finishing second in 2011, Twente largely underachieved by only finishing sixth last season.

This may tempt a few players to consider a move away and Newcastle are keen to offer a Premier League route to both Luuk de Jong and Douglas.

Although, not in the Champions League, Newcastle do still have some pulling power and can certainly convince any potential signings that they have a bright future, with a youthful squad and a chairman willing to spend money when he feels it is justified.

Despite the scoring exploits of Demba Ba and Papiss Demba Cisse last season, there is little strength in depth at present in the striking department.

De Jong would provide this with a ratio marginally better than a goal every two games for Twente and Newcastle are hoping that they can secure his signature for £10m.

But competition does exist from Borrusia Monchengladbach, who may be more prepared to pay the asking price of £12m as they look to negotiate a way through the Champions League qualifiers after finishing fourth in the Bundesliga last season.

Some of the Newcastle hierarchy have flown to Holland in the hope of pushing through a deal quickly and while there are also interested in continuing talks with Douglas.

The Brazilian-born defender has been extensively scouted in recent times by Newcastle and having been at Twente for five years, there is the assumption that he requires a move to further his career.

Newcastle begin the new season against one of their leading top-four rivals and are 7/5 in the Premier League odds to collect the three points at home to Tottenham.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.