Belfast Telegraph

Newcastle close in on De Jong

Newcastle will attempt to tie up a deal for striker Luuk de Jong as Alan Pardew finally closes in on his man.

The 23-year-old Borussia Monchengladbach frontman was heading for Tyneside on Tuesday with a view to undergoing a medical on Wednesday, around 18 months after Pardew first tried to land him.

Press Association Sport understands the Magpies and Borussia have agreed a loan deal for the remainder of the current season with an option to buy.

De Jong's impending arrival in the north-east was confirmed by the Bundesliga club via their Twitter account.

They said: "Luuk de Jong is not training with the Fohlenelf (the club's nickname) today. The striker is currently on his way to Newcastle for medical checks."

The news came around 12 hours after it was revealed that Newcastle had agreed in principle a deal to sell star midfielder Yohan Cabaye to Paris St Germain, although the situation is largely unrelated.

De Jong has been on the Magpies' wish-list for some time and they have spent much of this month trying to negotiate his exit from Gladbach.

In addition, Pardew insisted on Monday that should Cabaye leave during this window, he would have to be replaced directly.

If the transfer goes through, the former FC Twente frontman will join Loic Remy, Papiss Cisse and Shola Ameobi at St James' Park, although with Remy only on loan from QPR and Ameobi out of contract at the end of the season, there remains a sense of flux in that department.

Indeed, Cisse has been repeatedly linked with a move away from Tyneside this month - at one point, a swap deal between he and De Jong was mooted and dismissed - with several clubs having expressed an interest.

In the meantime, Pardew will hope a man the Magpies courted determinedly during the summer of 2012 can help to increase the firepower at his disposal, while at the same time keeping his fingers crossed that owner Mike Ashley will sanction a move to sign a like-for-like replacement for Cabaye.

De Jong scored 37 goals in 63 league appearances for FC Twente before securing a £12.6million switch to Borussia.

He managed six in 23 Bundesliga outings during his first campaign in Germany, but has played barely an hour of competitive football in 13 appearances as a substitute this time around.

Pardew will hope he can provide a foil for leading scorer Remy, who collected his 11th goal of the season, but just his third in 10 games, in the 3-1 Barclays Premier League victory at West Ham on January 18.

He could get his first chance on Saturday, when derby rivals Sunderland head for St James' Park looking for a third successive win over their neighbours.


From Belfast Telegraph