Mike Ashley in rare Newcastle training ground visit for Steve Bruce transfer talks

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MIKE ASHLEY paid a rare visit to Newcastle’s training ground today in a show of support for new manager Steve Bruce as whips his squad into shape for the start of the season.

Ashley is rarely spotted at the club’s Darsley Park HQ, but spent more than two hours chatting with Bruce and his coaching staff.

The Newcastle owner arrived at the Toon training base in his private helicopter at lunchtime before taking off again a few hours later at 3.10pm.

Along with chatting with Bruce and assistants Steve Agnew and Stephen Clemence, Ashley watched on as the squad as they were put through their paces.

Newcastle are back in the UK following their trip to China for the Premier League Asia Cup and are now gearing up for their next friendly away at Championship side Preston on Saturday.

FULL STORY: Newcastle complete deal for striker Joelinton

Bruce will be hoping to be build a strong rapport with Ashley after previous Toon boss Rafa Benitez’s famously fractured relationship with the retail magnate.

And things got off to a decent start for the new manager yesterday with the club completing a record deal for striker Joelinton.

More new faces are expected to arrive before the August 8 deadline, and it’s understand transfer business was on the agenda as Bruce chatted with Ashley.

Ayoze Perez, Joselu and Mo Diame have all departed this summer with only Joelinton heading the other way.

READ MORE: Who could join Joelinton at Newcastle?

And with the futures of midfielders Isaac Hayden and Sean Longstaff uncertain it’s set to be a busy end to the transfer window for Newcastle.

Newcastle’s remaining pre-season fixtures

Preston (A) – Sat July 27

Hibs (A) – Tues July 30

St-Etienne (H) – Sat Aug 3

Newcastle’s first five Premier League fixtures

Arsenal (H) – Sun Aug 11

Norwich (A) – Sat Aug 17

Tottenham (A) – Sun Aug 25

Watford (H) – Sat Aug 31

Liverpool(A) – Sat Sep 14

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