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Newcastle have reached agreement with Chelsea over a deal for teenage defender Lewis Hall.
The PA news agency understands that talks over the 18-year-old’s move to Tyneside have reached a successful conclusion and that he will become the club’s fourth major summer signing.
Magpies head coach Eddie Howe confirmed his interest in Hall at his pre-match press conference on Friday morning, and indicated that the move – initially at least – would be on a loan basis.
Asked about the player, Howe said: “Let’s wait and see what happens today. He’s a player that I like, very versatile, really good potential.”
Asked further if the move would be on a loan basis after admitting last week that the club would have to be “creative” in following up summer swoops for Sandro Tonali, Harvey Barnes and Tino Livramento, Howe added: “Yes, I think it is, yes.”
Howe also confirmed that completion of the deal would effectively bring an end to the club’s incoming transfer business.
He said: “I think if we were able to bring a player in, that would be our transfer business concluded unless there were injuries within our own players.”
Hall’s arrival would cap a productive summer for the Magpies, who have lost Allan Saint-Maximin but otherwise significantly strengthened their hand.
Tonali made a hugely impressive debut in last Saturday’s 5-1 victory over Aston Villa in which Barnes came off the bench to both provide and assist for Callum Wilson and score himself.
But if the £52million Italy international grabbed the headlines, he did so only marginally ahead of striker Alexander Isak, who will head into Saturday evening’s trip to champions Manchester City brimming with confidence after helping himself to a double against Villa, the second courtesy of an exquisite chipped finish.
Isak, who joined Newcastle from Real Sociedad last summer for an initial £58million, got the nod ahead of last season’s leading scorer Wilson and justified his selection with a performance which illustrated the way he has grown into a role which carries huge weight on Tyneside.
Asked if he could yet prove a bargain in the context of the current transfer climate, Howe said: “Some of the fees paid this summer have been extraordinary and as long as the revenues in football [continue], that will continue to be the case.
“You look back at a deal done a year ago, two years ago, a great price, we got that player at a really good fee. As long as we keep feeling that, we know we’re doing the right things and making the right decisions.”
Howe will send his team into battle with UEFA Super Cup winners City in the second leg of an intensely difficult start to the season which will see them entertain Liverpool next weekend before heading for Brighton in a run of fixtures Howe acknowledges may provide a barometer for the remainder of the campaign.
He said: That’s how we’re trying to approach it, as a challenge, as a really good way of starting the season because we’ll know instantly how good we are, how good we can be, what areas we need to improve.”
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