Steve McLaren
McClaren says 'character' in new signings is key heading into his first seasonGetty Images

Newcastle United are close to completing their first transfer of the summer, as confirmed by their manager Steve McClaren.

The Magpies have started their pre-season training and are confident that they can add some new faces to the squad before they embark on their trip to the United States, to play a few friendlies and get in tune with the rigours of the Premier League, which starts less than a month away.

Newcastle had a horrible season under John Carver and were on the verge of being relegated on the final day, but a win saw them through at the expense of Hull City who drew with Manchester United.

The Magpies will be hoping for a much better season this time around but will not be too disappointed by the start they made last season.

However, they need to take lessons from their catastrophic demise in the second half which can lead to worse implications if repeated this time around. McLaren is convinced that he has the players to take the next step, but is in the market for the right players, who can add value to his squad.

"It's about getting the right players here. There has been a lot of speculation and we are close on one or two. But in the transfer market, you can be close or you can be miles away," McLaren said, as quoted by ESPN.

"It doesn't really matter at one point, just so long as we get the right players. But it would be nice if we could get one or two; if not, we'll just have to be a little bit more patient and make sure we get the right players.

"There's a long way to go before the end of the window, there are still quite a few weeks before the start of the season and it's important what you have at the close of the window.

"Everybody is waiting for it, expecting it. Everybody knows what the objectives are and everybody knows that we have got good players here. But we need to improve on that," he concluded.