Newcastle close to transfer breakthrough

Jordan Lukaku.
Jordan Lukaku.

Jordan Lukaku is set to become Newcastle United’s first January signing.

The Lazio left-back is due on Tyneside to undergo a medical ahead of a loan switch to St James’s Park.

Reports in Belgium claim that it would it would cost £19.1million to make the move permanent in the summer.

Rafa Benitez wants to sign a left-back, a No 10 and a winger this month.

However, with owner Mike Ashley reluctant to spend without Benitez signing a new deal – and the club unable to sign any more domestic loans – United’s manager is having to explore the overseas loan market.

And Lukaku, younger brother of Manchester United striker Romelu, was available after only making a handful of appearances in the first half of the season after recovering from the injury which forced him out of Belgium’s World Cup squad last summer.

A deal has been agreed between Newcastle and Lazio, and there is just the medical to be completed.

The 24-year-old, known for his pace, would need to be registered by noon to be eligible to play in tomorrow’s home FA Cup tie against Watford.

Lukaku would challenge Paul Dummett, United’s first-choice left-back, for a place. Dummett, out since January 2, is pushing to return from a hamstring problem.

Newcastle remain interested in Atlanta United midfielder Miguel Almiron.

The 24-year-old, the No 10 Benitez wants, is rated in the £23million- bracket by the Major League Soccer club.

Meanwhile, Watford’s Abdoulaye Doucoure will miss the cup tie at St James’s Park.