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Chelsea midfielder Kenedy undergoes medical at Newcastle

Rafael Benitez is closing in on his first January capture.

Chelsea midfielder Kenedy was undergoing a medical on Tyneside on Tuesday morning as he closed in on a loan move to Newcastle, Press Association Sport understands.

The 21-year-old Brazilian headed for the north-east on Monday night after being given the green light to do so by manager Antonio Conte.

Should the deal go through as expected, opposite number Rafael Benitez will get his hands on a player he courted during the summer as he looks to add pace and invention to the fight for Premier League safety.

The former Fluminense player is a wide man by trade and has been used in recent weeks by Conte as a wing-back, but has also played centrally.

He has made five senior appearances for Chelsea this season, all of them in the domestic cup competitions.

His capture would represent a significant breakthrough for Benitez, who had hoped to have his transfer business completed by January 20.

Owner Mike Ashley has sanctioned investment this month with the club having slipped to within a point of the drop zone.

Benitez is understood to be targeting a proven striker in particular with his side having scored just 22 goals in 24 league outings to date.

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