Newcastle United enjoyed an encouraging summer.
Despite the obvious setback of the failed £300million takeover by Amanda Staveley and PIF, the Magpies were still able to take several steps forward.
It seemed that Mike Ashley was going to keeping a firm eye on the pennies, but instead he splashed out on some key additions.
As well as signing Mark Gillespie and Jeff Hendrick, Newcastle completed deals for Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser, Jamal Lewis and Rodrigo Vilca who joined in the final days of the international window.
Those deals were done with the intention of improving on last season's finish.
Steve Bruce's side comfortably avoided relegation but will have their sights set on pushing towards the top half of the table.
However those ambitions would have been heightened had one key deal got over the line.
The Daily Express have claimed that Newcastle made an approach for Ciro Immobile during the summer transfer window.
The Lazio striker is one of the most lethal attackers in Europe and scored 36 league goals last term for the Serie A side.
It's claimed that Immobile was being lined up as a potential flagship signing for the club's prospective new owners who were keen to make a real statement of intent at St James' Park.
But with the takeover deal falling through, it seems that Newcastle's hopes of signing Immobile went swiftly out of the window.
Speaking to Corriere Dello Sport, quoted by the Express, the 30-year-old said: "During the period in which there was talk of the possible purchase of Newcastle by the Sheikh’s fund they called my agent, Alessandro Moggi.
“Then the Premier League did not approve that proposal, or the fund withdrew, I don’t remember well.
“I know they were also looking for an Italian coach, Allegri or Spalletti.”
GIVEMESPORT'S Phil Spencer says...
What a deal this would have been.
Valued at £40.5m by Transfermarkt, Ciro Immobile may be 30 years of age, but he's one of the most lethal goalscorers on the continent right now.
Last term he topped the European scoring charts with a staggering 36 goals for Lazio in Serie A.
To see him playing at St James' Park would have been something else.
Newcastle pride themselves on having top quality number 9s - well Immobile would certainly have fit the bill.
Unfortunately the deal didn't come to fruition, but you never know, it could be a deal that's revisited in the future.
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