NEWCASTLE have made South Korean midfielder Ki Sung-yueng their second signing of the summer.

Ki, who was a free agent after leaving Swansea City at the end of last season, has signed a two-year contract at St James' Park.

The 29-year-old only recently finished representing his nation at the World Cup finals, and was part of the South Korean side that beat Germany in their final group game in Russia.

"I’m pleased to welcome Ki to the club," said Rafael Benitez, in an interview with Newcastle's official website. "He is a player with lots of Premier League and international experience and it was an easy decision to bring him here.

"He is the captain of his country, a good character and he will be a good addition to the squad."

Ki said: "I’m so pleased I can join the club. I was always pleasantly surprised when I came to St. James’ Park to play against Newcastle – there is a great atmosphere and the passion from the fans is a great support to the players.

"Everyone knows how big this club is so I’m really looking forward to playing with my teammates and for the fans."

Ki joined Swansea from Celtic in 2012, and spent the 2013-14 season on loan at Sunderland, where he made 34 senior appearances and played for the Black Cats in the Capital One Cup final.

Sunderland were keen to sign him permanently, but Swansea opted to keep him at the Liberty Stadium and he went on to make more than 150 senior appearances for the Welsh club.

He was a mainstay in the Swansea midfield for the majority of last season, but his contract expired this month and the Swans opted not to renew it in the wake of their relegation to the Championship.

A number of clubs including Everton made contact with Ki’s representatives, but Newcastle have moved quickly to complete a deal.

The midfielder should be officially confirmed as the Magpies’ second summer addition over the weekend, following in the footsteps of goalkeeper Martin Dubravka, who completed a permanent transfer from Sparta Prague.

Benitez will be pleased to have recruited a player with proven Premier League experience, and Ki’s passing abilities will help plug the midfield gap that will be left by Mikel Merino’s impending move to Real Sociedad.

However, the Newcastle boss continues to harbour concerns about the size of the transfer budget he has been afforded this summer, and it says much that his only outfield move so far has been for a free agent.

Nevertheless, Ki’s anticipated arrival comes with his full blessing, and the South Korean should complete his signing in plenty of time to be involved in the Irish training camp that will kick off Newcastle’s pre-season preparations.