NEWPORT County AFC have been in talks with Premier League prospects about loan moves as manager James Rowberry 'pushes the boundaries' in the hunt for a final four recruits.

The Exiles have so far made five signings for their League Two campaign, bringing in central defender Declan Drysdale (Coventry), midfielders Sam Bowen (Cardiff) and Aaron Wildig (Morecambe) and strikers Will Evans (Bala) and Chanka Zimba (loan, Cardiff).

The squad start pre-season training on Wednesday as they begin the countdown to the opener on Saturday, July 30, with Rowberry is confident that he will soon be adding to his options.

South Wales Argus:

“I met with a few players last week, two from Premier League clubs and one that we are hoping to bring in on a permanent deal, then we have space for another one,” said the boss.

“We are in a decent position with 18 senior players so far – and I include Harrison Bright in that now – plus the development lads.

“I am comfortable with where we are going in to return on Wednesday and now what we are looking to get sorted is a left-back, a number ten and two strikers.

“We have to be flexible, especially when dealing with Premier League clubs with regard to loans, and when it comes to strikers it is the business end of the pitch so we have to be a little bit patient.

“But the work that Darren [Kelly, sporting director] has done with me and the staff has been great and we are in a really good place.

“I am pleased with where we are at and now I hope our targets come off, if not then we move on to others.”

County, who were beaten play-off finalists in 2021 and were contenders for the top seven until a poor run-in last season, operate on a smaller budget than many rivals.

However, Rowberry believes they have been smart in the transfer market with the backing of those in suits.

“Gavin [Foxall, chairman] and the board have been brilliant,” said Rowberry. “They are so supportive and it’s a real collective effort.

“They try to make things as smooth as possible and have given us what we need, trying to push the boundaries as much as we can.

“We are a supporter-owned club and do treat the money like it’s our own but we also want to push the boundaries to get the players that we want.”