With Premier League safety now assured, Newcastle United are ramping up their preparations for next season.

Magpies boss Steve Bruce says the club are already discussing transfer targets ahead of next season, while they also have some big decisions to make over United's out of contract contingent.

Newcastle, like most clubs, have felt the financial strain of another season without fans as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and any signings will be made on a limited budget, while the free agent and loan markets will likely be utilised.

Nonetheless, any new additions will be joining a squad the United manager has come to rely on.

A core group of players remain at the club from their Championship promotion squad of four years ago, while there are certain players that Bruce uses so much that they could be seen as 'untouchables' in his starting XI.

The likes of Joelinton, Jacob Murphy, Isaac Hayden and Ciaran Clark have been utilised more than most players this season but aren't necessarily guaranteed starters.

However, when fit, there are six players that Bruce seemingly feels Newcastle cannot do without and it will be those players from which he will build his strongest side around next term.

So as the Magpies ramp up their recruitment drive, here's a look at Bruce's six 'untouchables' they will hope to join in the starting XI.

Allan Saint-Maximin

Put simply, Saint-Maximin is Newcastle's best player and they are far worse off without him.

The Frenchman has had two extended periods out with injury this season and some would argue that contributed to a dire run of two wins in 20 games under Bruce from December through to March.

Indeed, United won just two of the 13 Premier League games the 24-year-old missed this season and when he has been fully fit, Bruce has built his team's success around the direct dribbler.

If he can avoid injuries next season, and adds more consistency to his goals and assist numbers, Newcastle could have a successful campaign.

Callum Wilson

Newcastle's top goalscorer has been a revelation in his first season at the club.

12 goals in 26 games for a side that struggles to create chances is an incredible return and had he not missed 12 games through injury he could well have troubled the 20-goal mark.

Newcastle simply don't have another prolific goalscorer like Wilson at Premier League level and their success or failure next season will largely depend on getting Wilson on the pitch regularly.

Martin Dubravka

After a heel injury, coupled with the form of deputy goalkeeper Karl Darlow, ruled Dubravka out of Premier League action until the end of February, Dubravka has since returned to the side and reminded everybody of his talents.

Arguably Newcastle's most consistent performer since joining from Sparta Prague in January 2018, the Slovakia international has been in fine form during his side's upturn in form that dragged them clear of relegation trouble.

A goalkeeper that could arguably grace some of European football's top sides, the 32-year-old provides a reliable foundation for Newcastle's future success.

Jonjo Shelvey

Like him or loathe him, Shelvey is a big favourite of the Newcastle boss.

The central midfielder has captained the side in Jamaal Lascelles' absence this season and aside from the seven matches he has missed through injury this term, he has started all but one of the Magpies' Premier League matches.

On his day, his creativity can be a real asset for Newcastle, although his critics will suggest he slows down the game too much in the middle of the park.

Fortunately for Shelvey, Bruce is of the former opinion and it seems as if it will be Shelvey and one or two others forming the base of his midfield going forward.

Miguel Almiron

No Newcastle player has featured more than Almiron this term - despite him being ruled out with a knee injury in March.

His energy and versatility in midfield makes him a manager's dream and whether he is used as a central midfielder, a winger or a number 10, Bruce always seems to find a place for him in his team.

His running stats have been described as 'ridiculous' by his team-mates and Newcastle will hope he can improve on his goals and assists numbers next season.

Jamaal Lascelles

The captain has had a tough time of it this term with injuries and the after effects of suffering from long Covid but when he is fit, he starts.

With Paul Dummett, Federico Fernandez and Fabian Schar's contracts set to expire and Ciaran Clark on the wrong side of 30, Newcastle's future at centre-half will revolved around the 27-year-old one way or another.