Newcastle United are closing in on a double signing before the close of the January transfer window with deals for Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah and Brighton defender Dan Burn likely to bring an end to their recruitment this month.
Should the pair join Brazil international Bruno Guimarães in making permanent moves to Tyneside it will bring a difficult final week of the window to a successful conclusion for Newcastle’s new Saudi Arabian owners.
The new regime at St James’ Park has suffered plenty of setbacks over the last few weeks, but have worked tirelessly to ensure manager Eddie Howe‘s squad is far stronger than it was in December.
The Magpies hierarchy had been hoping Manchester United would lower their £16.5m loan fee demand for Jesse Lingard but there has been no movement in the last 48 hours and sources have told Telegraph Sport they have reluctantly admitted defeat.
Whether the decision to walk away from negotiations forces Manchester United to lower their excessive loan fee and staying up bonus remains to be seen, but there is little confidence at the Newcastle end that this will happen.
Although Lingard was keen on making the move to the North East he has not been willing to force his way out of Manchester United out of respect for the club he has been at for so long.
That has sharpened the focus on Newcastle’s other transfer targets and it is understood they are edging closer to completing an impressive double signing over the weekend.
Brighton and Hove Albion have rejected Newcastle’s first bid for Burn, but Newcastle have been encouraged to make a second offer and the player has made it clear he would like to return to his native North East.
The only potential sticking point is Brighton making unrealistic demands to sell a 29-year-old defender who does not want to remain on the south coast now that Newcastle have bid for him.
Telegraph Sport revealed Newcastle’s long-standing interest in Nketiah earlier this month and they have been quietly working on that deal for some time.
Manager Eddie Howe wanted to bring in a young striker to develop in this window before number nine Callum Willson suffered a nasty calf injury that will rule him out of action until March at the earliest.
Nketiah has also attracted interest from Crystal Palace this month and there have been reports that Arsenal have already rejected a bid for the 22-year-old who has refused to extend a contract that expires at the end of the season.
But Newcastle are thought to be in pole position to win the race to sign a player who needs a fresh start away from North London.
Talks with Arsenal have been progressing well and it is hoped Nketiah will travel to the North East over the weekend to complete his move.
With Newcastle close to completing a £40m deal to sign Lyon midfielder Bruno Guimarães, with the Brazil international undergoing a medical today this will take Newcastle’s spending to around £100m in this window.
That could well be the end of their recruitment until the summer, although they will continue to monitor the loan market to see if anything else attractive emerges. The focus, though, will be on domestic rather than foreign players.