NEWCASTLE UNITED are confident of being able to include Fabian Schar and Yoshinori Muto in their squad for a two-game tour of Portugal after agreeing a £12.5m double deal for the duo.

Schar’s £3m move from Deportivo La Coruna was formally confirmed yesterday afternoon, with the Swiss centre-half having signed a three-year deal at St James’ Park.

Muto’s £9.5m switch from German side Mainz should be confirmed in the next 24 hours, with the Japanese forward having flown to the North-East yesterday to complete a medical and finalise the personal terms of his transfer.

Provided the deal goes through as planned, Rafael Benitez will include both Schar and Muto in the squad that will fly to Portugal later today ahead of friendlies with Porto and Braga.

Newcastle officials have held a number of discussions over Muto this summer, and were finally able to make a breakthrough when the Mainz board accepted their £9.5m offer on Wednesday.

A 26-year-old forward who can play as a central striker or in a wide attacking position, Muto began his career in his homeland with FC Tokyo.

He joined Mainz on a four-year contract in 2019, and has scored 22 goals for the Bundesliga club in 66 league starts.

He boasts 25 senior caps for Japan, and featured in one of his nation’s matches at the recent World Cup in Russia.

His pace and movement are regarded as his biggest assets, and while Newcastle are awaiting the result of their application for a work permit before confirming any deal, all parties involved in the transfer expect a successful resolution.

Muto’s arrival does not necessarily end Newcastle’s interest in Salomon Rondon, although their next move with regard to the West Brom striker is likely to be dictated by what happens to Aleksandar Mitrovic ahead of the transfer deadline on August 9.

Mitrovic has returned to training at Newcastle’s Benton base, but is seeking talks with Benitez to clarify his future. The Serbian striker is not expected to travel to Portugal, and remains the subject of strong interest from Fulham despite the Cottagers’ current reluctance to meet Newcastle’s £20m asking price.

At the other end of the field, Schar has arrived to replace Chancel Mbemba, who completed a €6m move to Porto earlier this week.

Newcastle triggered a £3m relegation release clause in Schar’s contract at Deportivo, and the 26-year-old opted to move to Tyneside despite competing interest from clubs in Germany and Spain.

“I’m really happy to be here,” said Schar, who played at St James’ Park for Switzerland during the 2012 Olympics. “The club is a really big club for me. It has a big name, and it is a brilliant chance for me.

“I’m not like a typical defender. I, of course, defend, but I’m quite good with the ball – I like to play, I want to build up the game from behind, and I think that is a strength of mine. I have also scored some headers – that could also be a strength and hopefully I can use it here.

“I hope to start training with the team soon, and I’m looking forward to everything that’s coming. At the moment, I just want to get started.”

Schar, who is Newcastle’s fourth summer signing after Martin Dubravka, Ki Sung-yueng and Kenedy, spent three years with Swiss side Basle before moving into the Bundesliga with Hoffenheim.

He joined Deportivo last season, and made 25 league appearances as his employers were relegated to the Segunda Division.

He is an established international boasting 42 senior caps, and played in all of Switzerland’s group games at the World Cup before missing out on their last-16 defeat to Sweden because of suspension.

“I’m really pleased to welcome Fabian to Newcastle United,” said Benitez. “He is an international, did well in the World Cup and has great experience. He adds competition in this position and that is a positive for the team.”

Newcastle also announced a departure yesterday, with goalkeeper Matz Sels joining French side Strasbourg.

The Magpies have recouped around £3.5m from the Belgian’s departure, having shelled out £6m to sign him from Gent two years ago.

Sels struggled after joining Newcastle and was dropped at an early stage of United’s Championship title campaign. He spent last season on loan at Anderlecht, winning the Belgian Super Cup, with Benitez having deemed him surplus to requirements.