SUNDERLAND’S Jack Colback is on the verge of joining arch-rivals Newcastle United on a free transfer, despite Gus Poyet’s attempts to keep the midfielder at the Stadium of Light.
Colback, who is out of contract on July 1, has been in talks with Magpies representatives for a number of weeks and it is understood he has agreed to cross the Wear-Tyne divide after opting against joining West Ham or Aston Villa, who also made offers.
And the versatile midfielder, who has also enjoyed successful spells at left-back for Sunderland, is hoping to complete a deal to join the Tynesiders upon his return from holiday.
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Colback’s future at Sunderland has been uncertain ever since he rejected a new contract offer constructed by former director of football Roberto de Fanti last year, which the midfielder’s representatives deemed derisory at the time. The Black Cats made a renewed offer at a later date with Poyet keen to keep him at the club, but the 24-year-old has decided to move on with St James’ Park looking his likely destination.
West Ham emerged as frontrunners to sign Colback last week after reportedly offering him a lucrative deal worth in the region of £50,000 a week, but the Killingworth-born player is keen to stay in his native North-East and that factor has played a big part in his decision.
If the deal goes through, Colback will join a long list including Bob Moncur, Pop Robson, Alan Foggon, Andy Cole, Louis Saha, Michael Chopra and Titus Bramble to have played for both clubs.
Magpies boss Alan Pardew is keen to make a breakthrough in the transfer market before the start of next week’s World Cup and Colback could become his first summer signing with a deal also agreed with Tenerife for Ayoze Perez.
The 20-year-old Spaniard is the first of three strikers Pardew is keen to sign, while he is also in the market for midfield reinforcements on top of the imminent capture of Colback.
Montpellier attacking midfielder Remy Cabella is keen on a move to St James’ Park, but Newcastle have not returned with a second offer after seeing their initial bid of £6.5m rejected earlier this week.
Holland international Siem de Jong has been on the Magpies’ radar for awhile and the Ajax midfielder revealed there has been contract between his agent and club officials.
De Jong has 12 months left on his current deal at the Amsterdam Arena and with his brother Luuk having spent the second half of last season on loan at St James’ Park, the 25-year-old revealed he is an admirer of the club.
“I really do not know what I’ll do next season. I have spoken with the club but nothing is sorted,” de Jong told the Dutch media.
“Also with Newcastle United, where my brother played last time, talking about other clubs and have had a little contact with my agent. There was contact before, but it’s nothing concrete. I’m going next week to talk to Ajax, then I’ll see.”