Newcastle United can still attract top names – Steve McClaren

Steve McClaren.
Steve McClaren.

Steve McClaren says playing for Newcastle United is still a big draw for Europe’s top names – despite the club’s near-escape from relegation.

The club has signed just one player – Georginio Wijnaldum – so far this summer.

Wijnaldum became United’s third most expensive signing last week when he joined in a £14.5million deal from PSV Eindhoven.

Newcastle are also working on a deal for Anderlecht striker Aleksander Mitrovic, while Queens Park Rangers frontman Charlie Austin remains the club’s No1 summer target.

United only secured their Premier League status on the final day of last season and the club cannot offer European football, something Wijnaldum walked away from at Champions League club PSV to play in England.

But head coach McClaren says Newcastle’s ‘plans’ – and ‘potential’ – are enough to entice the calibre of player needed to lift the club and challenge for a domestic cup.

“Newcastle, in Europe especially, is massive,” said McClaren, whose side take on Club Atlas in Milwaukee in the early hours of tomorrow morning.

“Everybody knows the reputation and size of the club. Even to people in this country, Newcastle is massive.

“It’s huge here and it’s huge abroad. I’ve spoken to players, and they only want to come to Newcastle.

“There’s a big appetite for that to happen, without a doubt. I see the plans, and the potential is huge.”

Wijnaldum will join up with his new team-mates later in the tour, having returned to his native Holland after signing a five-year contract at United on Saturday.