NEWCASTLE UNITED have made Ross McCormack one of their main summer targets – but the Fulham striker is hoping to secure a move to the Premier League this summer.

A week on from confirmation of his decision to stay at St James’ Park, Rafael Benitez continues to work on his plans for next season’s campaign in the Championship.

The Spaniard does not expect to be making too many transfer decisions until he is able to sit down with a number of Newcastle’s senior players to discuss their future plans, but he has compiled a list of potential targets with McCormack’s name understood to figure prominently.

The Fulham striker scored 21 Championship goals last season despite the Cottagers’ battle against relegation, and was heavily linked with a move away from Craven Cottage in January.

Middlesbrough made a number of inquiries about his potential availability, only to eventually sign Jordan Rhodes instead, and McCormack signed a new four-year deal in February.

However, with Fulham keen to trim their wage bill, the 29-year-old is expected to move on this summer, with Benitez known to be impressed by his proven track record in the second tier.

McCormack has scored 17 or more league goals in four of the last five Championship seasons, and while he would not be a cheap option having cost Fulham around £11m when he moved from Leeds in 2014, he is as close as you get to a guarantee of goals in the Football League.

While Benitez has publicly insisted he does not have to sell anyone as a result of last season’s relegation, he intends to make changes this summer, with the acquisition of some proven Championship performers a key priority.

McCormack would fit that bill, but the striker intends to hold out for as long as possible in the hope of attracting an offer from a club in the Premier League.

“I want to be playing in the Premier League,” said McCormack. “It’s been something in my mind as the years have gone by.

“I will be 30 in August, so time is running out. I don’t know if I’ll ever get that opportunity, but it’s something that I’d love to do.”

Meanwhile, Newcastle have lined up two friendly matches as part of their pre-season schedule.

The Magpies will travel to Ireland for a week-long training camp in County Kildare between July 9-16, and are set to confirm a match against League of Ireland side Bohemian on the final day of their trip. The game, at Dublin’s Dalymount Park, has been provisionally scheduled for Saturday, July 16 (2pm).

Newcastle are also set to confirm a game in Belgium, with Sporting Lokeren having agreed to provide the opposition for a match on Sunday, July 24 (6pm).