Newcastle close to £3m defender deal

Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez

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Achraf Lazaar is close to becoming Newcastle United's TENTH summer signing.

The Palermo defender is on standby to fly to Tyneside to complete a £3million move to the Championship club.

Lazaar, a Morocco international, has spent the past two years at the Sicilian club.

And reports in Italy claim United have offered the 24-year-old a five-year deal after positive discussions.

Newcastle – who this week signed DeAndre Yedlin from Tottenham Hotspur –are also interested in taking Chelsea winger Christian Atsu on loan.

United manager Rafa Benitez refused to discuss the club's transfer targets today.

Asked about a move for Atsu, Benitez said: “We don’t talk about the targets.

"We have players in different positions. I am really pleased with the squad and how they train, but we have to keep the balance."