Newcastle United are hoping to secure another four summer recruits after clinching the signature of Ajax forward Siem de Jong late on Tuesday night.
United want to sign another forward and are hoping to step up their interest in Remy Cabella – the Montpellier playmaker – when the World Cup finals have concluded.
They are understood to be looking to wrap up a couple of deals quickly as they head back for pre-season training tomorrow, with Alexandre Lacazette of Lyon one name in the frame.
The squad will return with a spring in their collective step after the club negotiated an impressive deal for de Jong, the former Ajax captain who has signed a six-year contract to become Alan Pardew’s next No.10.
The fee is understood to be around the £7.5m mark – around £5m less than Newcastle were quoted when they first enquired about him over a year ago.
It is another example of United converting long-held interest in a player into a concrete move while playing a game of brinkmanship with the selling club.
Exactly where de Jong ends up playing for Newcastle is unclear but he can be deployed either as a No.10 or a striker, and as a former Ajax captain he certainly possesses leadership abilities which will make him a key man in the United dressing room.
De Jong himself paid tribute to boss Pardew as he made his introductions to his new team-mates. The Newcastle boss is an “honest” man and de Jong said that he was happy that the club had decided to stick with him after a disastrous run at the end of last term.
“I spoke to him (Alan Pardew) once and Luuk also told me all about him, plus he spoke to our manager a couple of times. I have a feeling he is an honest trainer and I hope we have a good couple of years,” he said. Newcastle are unlikely to make a move for his brother Luuk – who suffered a disappointing loan spell at the end of last season – but Siem said that he still hopes to play with his sibling.
Such an outcome would depend on Borussia Mönchen-gladbach lowering their prohibitive asking price for the Dutch forward.
“Luuk has said that Newcastle is a great club, a great atmosphere in a great stadium,” de Jong said.
“He said it is a big club in the world and he hopes that one day he comes back, maybe with me, so we will see.”
Newcastle have also been linked with a move for Burnley’s England under-21 striker Danny Ings but he is not understood to be one of their priority targets, despite having less than a year left on his contract.
Magpies boss Pardew is definitely keen on Ings but the club’s targets mostly reside in Holland, France and Spain.
United have begun sourcing alternatives for Mathieu Debuchy, although they don’t expect the France full-back to make a decision on his future until after the conclusion of the World Cup finals. Arsenal have interest.