Rafa Benitez has still not signed an extension to his Newcastle United contract, but has allegedly identified his first two signings of the summer.

The Daily Express claims Benitez will make a move for Venezuelan teenager, Jan Hurtado, and Paris St Germain goalkeeper, Kevin Trapp.

While the link to 19-year-old striker Hurtado sounds like a feasible move, to suggest a move for another goalkeeper is imminent, sounds a little less so.

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Hurtado was first linked with a move to Tyneside at the start of last month. The player has been dubbed as “the new Tino Asprilla”, and if he is anything like the former Newcastle ace, the fans would be more than happy.

Hurtado plays for Gimnasia in the Argentinian Primera Division, where he has scored twice in 17 appearances. He also broke into the Venezuelan senior squad for the first time in March this year.

He would be a signing that would appease Mike Ashley – should he remain in control at the club – as, being a teenager, he can grow under the guidance of a world class manager, should Rafa agree to extend his stay.

As ever under Ashley’s Newcastle, the potential increase in value as he gets better, will have Ashley looking at profit margins over footballing ambition.

And it is for that very reason that it seems far less likely that Trapp, at 28, will be coming to Toon.

Signing a 28-year-old goalkeeper does not sound likely

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It is difficult to see a goalkeeper as a priority at all, with Martin Dubravka looking cemented into the first team, and equally capable back-up options in Karl Darlow and Freddie Woodman.

In fact, with Ashley concerend with youth, and reluctant to bring in older, experienced players, it would seem a much more logical route to tie down Woodman, with a contract worthy of an England under-21 international, than sign a veteran.

The issue, of course, is that Woodman wants first team football, and even if he did sign, he would want to go on loan to the Championship or League One next season.

That would leave Rafa with Dubravka and Darlow as first and second senior choice.

So, for me, it could be worth offering Rob Elliot a one year extension to his current deal, with him knowing that it will be very much a third choice, emergency role he would have.

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That said, he could offer a great deal as a coach and mentor to the younger keepers at the club – a role he could be offered alongside any extended deal.

Elliot is very settled in the North East, and even has his junior coaching school, along with a few other senior Newcastle players.

It would make no less sense than bringing in another keeper who would be very unlikely to start many games next season.

Time will tell, as speculation mounts. But it is all purely guess work until Rafa’s contract is signed and the summer business can truly begin.

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