Five Players Will Be Missing Next Week

Last updated : 21 June 2016 By Footy Mad - Editor

Rafa Benitez has made it clear that no players will be allowed to depart without his approval, and therefore he expects a large proportion of the squad who were relegated to be on Tyneside come the middle of next week.

Wantaway midfielder Moussa Sissoko will be absent given that he is representing France at Euro 2016, while the likes of Georginio Wijnaldum, Paul Dummett, Andros Townsend and Aleksandar Mitrovic will also be given a little extra time off after their international exerts last month.

But, with the Championship campaign starting on August 6 - a week earlier than the top-flight season - Benitez wants a full six-week pre-season schedule with the bulk of his playing squad.

On Wednesday, the second-tier fixtures will be released for 2016/17, when United will learn who their opening-day opponents are and whether their first match of the new campaign will be televised.

Though the former Real Madrid manager managed the group for the final 10 games of 2015/16, pre-season will offer Benitez the first real opportunity to implement his complex tactical and technical ideas.

Set-pieces drills, flexible formations and the ability to be more compact defensively as a side - as well as the usual rigorous fitness drills - are just some of the specifics which Benitez and his backroom team will look to address.

In an ideal world, the Spaniard would like to have the majority of his summer signings in place before the beginning of August so that they are given time to learn the Magpies’ tactical systems.

And, though the club are confident of completing a number of deals in July, there is an acceptance privately that business could drag into the beginning of the Championship campaign.