Pic Special: Training Centre Progress

Work is nearing completion as Newcastle United's Training Centre gets transformed in time for the players' return to pre-season training later this week.

Following Rafa Benitez's decision last month to remain as Magpies manager, the Spaniard held discussions with managing director Lee Charnley and facilities manager Eddie Rutherford about his vision for the Benton-based headquarters.

Work began within a matter of days, with contractors setting about reconfiguring offices, dressing rooms and shower blocks among other places in order to improve functionality and comfort for players and staff.

A new relaxation space is also being created for United's squad to use in between double sessions, while a 4G surface will be installed in the indoor tent, as well as a host of new equipment in the gym.

Club Photographer Serena Taylor has been snapping the process from start to finish for this exclusive gallery of images.

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