Newcastle United 'very close' to transfer breakthrough

Newcastle United are hopeful of a transfer breakthrough ahead of Saturday’s home friendly against Stoke City.

The club is in talks with winger Ryan Fraser, a free agent after leaving Bournemouth, and an agreement is understood to be “very close”.

Fraser – who hasn’t played a competitive game since March – is said to be keen on a move to the club. The 26-year-old didn’t sign a contract extension enabling play in the Premier League’s summer restart.

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With Dwight Gayle facing several months on the sidelines with a knee injury, there is a pressing need for a striker, and the club is exploring a deal for Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson, 28, which would see Matt Ritchie return to his former club in part-exchange.

Newcastle are also keen to sign Arsenal defender Rob Holding on a season-long loan. The club’s interest in the 24-year-old has put a question mark over the future of Fabian Schar and Florian Lejeune.

Ryan Fraser.