NOTTINGHAM FOREST are close to completing a deal for out-of-favour Newcastle United midfielder Jack Colback.

Colback, who has one year of his current contract remaining, has been told he does not have a future at St James’ Park, and was excluded from the first-team squad that is currently at a training camp in Ireland.

He has been told to seek alternative employers, and Forest boss Aitor Karanka is keen to complete a deal, with Colback having spent the second half of last season on loan at the City Ground.

The finances of the deal are proving difficult to agree, with Colback’s current earnings on Tyneside taking him beyond Forest’s wage ceiling.

However, Karanka is hoping to reach an agreement in the next seven days, with another round of talks with Colback’s representatives planned before the weekend.

“I know Jack, and Jack knows me and the club,” said Karanka, in an interview with the Nottingham Post. “He was really important here last season. It is true that he is on our list.

“We have other players on the list because he is not our player and we cannot say that he is yet. We have to find a solution to that as soon as possible. But if it is not Jack, then we will find another target.”

Mikel Merino completed his departure from Newcastle today, signing a five-year deal with Spanish side Real Sociedad.

The La Liga club triggered the €12m buyout clause in Merino’s contract, with the midfielder having grown frustrated at his lack of first-team opportunities on Tyneside.