NEWCASTLE UNITED are hoping to complete the signing of Jordan Lukaku in the next 24 hours after agreeing a season-long loan for the Lazio left-back.

Lukaku, who is the younger brother of Manchester United striker, Romelu, is due on Tyneside later today to complete the formalities of his switch from Serie A.

Newcastle officials have had a mixed 24 hours on the transfer front, with Atletico Madrid winger Gelson Martins having turned down a proposed move to Tyneside to join Monaco and Atlanta United refusing to lower their $25m asking price for Paraguayan forward Miguel Almiron.

However, Lukaku’s arrival means they have finally made their first signing of the month, with the 24-year-old set to provide some much-needed competition on the left-hand side of defence.

The Northern Echo:

Newcastle have been pursuing a number of left-backs this month, with Rafael Benitez desperate to secure an alternative option to current first-choice Paul Dummett.

The Magpies switched their attentions to Lukaku when their pursuit of Monaco’s Antonio Barreca hit a snag, with Benitez attracted by the Belgium international’s ability to play as both an orthodox left-back and a left wing-back in a back five.

Like his elder brother, Antwerp-born Lukaku spent his formative years in the youth set-up at Anderlecht, eventually making his senior debut for the Jupiler League club in 2011. He went on to spend three years with Oostende before joining Lazio for a reported €4m in July 2016.

He has made 53 senior starts for Lazio, and was in contention for a place in Belgium’s World Cup squad last summer before a knee injury scuppered his chances of making it to Russia.

He still had knee problems at the start of the current campaign, and has made just one Serie A start this season. He was withdrawn at the half-time interval of last weekend’s 2-1 defeat to Napoli, with Lazio boss Simone Inzaghi clearly concluding he could no longer foresee him having a place in his plans.

Lukaku should be formally confirmed as a Newcastle player before the weekend, although he is unlikely to feature in tomorrow’s FA Cup fourth-round tie with Watford.

Having finally landed another full-back, Benitez will prioritise the signing of an attacking midfielder in the final week of the transfer window, although moves for Martins and Almiron have so far proved unsuccessful.

Martins spoke to Newcastle officials about a loan move on Wednesday, but having been less than enthusiastic about the Magpies’ offer, the Atletico winger immediately entered into a competing round of talks with Monaco.

Those discussions proved fruitful, and Martins is set to join a Monaco side battling against relegation in 19th position in Ligue 1.

Newcastle’s attempts to sign Almiron have proved equally frustrating, with their month-long pursuit having effectively gone nowhere because of their refusal to match Atlanta’s asking price.

The Magpies have agreed the outline terms of a contract with Almiron and his representatives, but finalising a deal with Atlanta has proved much more difficult, with the MLS side continuing to demand at least $25m (£20m).

Newcastle do not want to pay more than £16m for the 24-year-old, and Mike Ashley is refusing to enter into a bidding war by raising his initial offer.

The Magpies return to action in the FA Cup tomorrow, with Christian Atsu hoping they can maintain the momentum that was generated by back-to-back victories over Blackburn Rovers and Cardiff City.

“These players care so much for this team,” said Atsu. “Everybody cares and we just need to work harder and we will achieve what we want to achieve.”