NEWCASTLE UNITED have agreed a deal that will see Schalke midfielder Nabil Bentaleb sign on loan for the remainder of the season, and are close to finalising a second loan agreement for Inter Milan full-back Valentino Lazaro.

Bentaleb travelled to Newcastle’s training ground yesterday to complete the formalities of his switch from the Bundesliga, has become the Magpies’ first signing of the January transfer window.

The Algeria international made his name with Tottenham after graduating through the North London club’s academy to make his professional debut in 2013. He made 66 senior appearances for Spurs, before making a £17m move to Schalke in 2017 after completing a successful loan spell with the German side.

He was dropped to Schalke’s reserves last year after a disciplinary issue, and is looking to kickstart his career back in the Premier League.

Crystal Palace also discussed a possible loan deal with the 25-year-old, but Newcastle have won the battle to secure Bentaleb’s services. His transfer has been confirmed by the club ahead of this evening’s Premier League game at Everton, bolstering Steve Bruce’s midfield options for the remainder of the season.

Newcastle are also close to finalising a loan deal for Lazaro, with the Austrian's representatives having attended Saturday’s 1-0 win over Chelsea.

A versatile player, who can play as an orthodox right-back, a right wing-back or a wide midfielder, Lazaro should complete a season-long loan from Inter in the next couple of days.

Newcastle are adopting something of a ‘mix-and-match’ approach this month, using short-term deals to plug gaps within the squad while also lining up permanent transfers to address to longer-term issues.

With Jetro Willems and Paul Dummett both having been ruled out until the end of the season, Bruce will attempt to push through a loan deal for another left-back before the window closes a week on Friday.

Newcastle’s recruitment team will also table a bid for Hull City midfielder Jarrod Bowen in the hope of sealing a deal for the 23-year-old, who is Bruce’s number one target when it comes to completing a permanent transfer this month.

“Doing something short-term is a short-term fix, but to actually buy one and get one in like that, I’ll only buy one if the right quality comes around,” said the Newcastle boss, who has been combining his transfer discussions with the preparation of his side for tonight’s trip to Goodison Park. “We’ve identified one in particular, so we’ll see where that takes us.

“Some things have been sprung on us, but I think you see it (short-term deals) more and more often now. The two big transfers in London (Cenk Tosun to Crystal Palace and Gedson Fernandes to Tottenham) have been loan deals, so it seems to be more and more now.

“Certainly, the European clubs seem to put their players here because it keeps their value high, so there’s a lot of sense in it. But actually buying one, it’s very difficult.”

Newcastle remain keen to offload some of their fringe players, although that is also proving tough. Jack Colback, Henri Saivet and Ki Sung-yueng have all been told they can leave this month, but there are currently no deals on the table for the trio.

“We’ve made it pretty clear about Ki’s position, and he’s also made it pretty clear that he wants to go out and play somewhere,” said Bruce, who is set leave Willems and Dummett off his squad list for the second half of the season. “We’ll see what happens, but at this particular moment, nothing has really happened in that respect.

“Saivet, nothing’s really happened – he’s available and he needs to go and play somewhere. Jack, unfortunately, hurt his knee, but he’s another one. I can’t see much happening there because of the problem he’s got with his knee, but Saivet, Ki and Jack, we hope they can go and get fixed up and get on with their careers.”