NEWCASTLE UNITED are leading the chase for Tosin Adarabioyo, with the centre-half having told his current club, Fulham, he will not be signing a new deal at Craven Cottage.

Adarabioyo’s contract with the Cottagers is due to expire this summer, and with talks over a potential new deal in south London having broken down, the 26-year-old has informed Fulham officials of his intention to move on.

The defender was left out of Fulham’s matchday squad for last weekend’s draw with Crystal Palace, having started the club’s previous nine matches, and is not expected to feature in Marco Silva’s plans for the remaining three games of the season.

His representatives have held talks with a number of Premier League suitors, with Newcastle looking increasingly likely to beat off competition from Manchester United, Tottenham and West Ham to land the centre-half.

Newcastle’s recruitment team have a long-standing interest in both Adarabioyo and Bournemouth centre-half Lloyd Kelly, both of whom are set to become free agents this summer.

Ideally, the magpies would like to sign both players, and talks over Adarabioyo have progressed successfully in the last few weeks.

With Sven Botman and Jamaal Lascelles both set to be sidelined until well into the autumn after suffering cruciate-ligament injuries, Newcastle can offer the Manchester-born defender an immediate opportunity to establish himself in Eddie Howe’s preferred starting line-up.

The fact that Adarabioyo is moving as a free agent also means the Magpies have been able to put together an attractive financial package without running into any difficulties in relation to the Premier League Profit and Sustainability rules.


Adarabioyo is understood to have been offered a long-term deal at St James’ Park worth more than £100,000-a-week.

A former academy player with Manchester City, Adarabioyo skippered City’s youth team as they lost to Chelsea in the 2015 FA Youth Cup final. He made his senior City debut in an FA Cup tie with Chelsea in 2016 under Manuel Pellegrini, but fell down the pecking order under Pep Guardiola and was loaned to West Brom and Blackburn.

He joined Fulham in October 2020 for a fee of around £2m, and has made a total of 129 senior appearances for the Cottagers over the course of the last four seasons. He has made 25 senior outings during the current campaign, scoring in Premier League games against West Ham and Nottingham Forest.

An athletic, ball-playing centre-half, he should suit the playing style that Howe has developed on Tyneside, with his arrival set to kick off a busy summer of transfer activity at St James’ Park if it is completed in the next few weeks.

Talks over Kelly remain ongoing, with Bournemouth having been unable to persuade the 25-year-old to sign new terms at the Vitality Stadium.

Kelly was part of the Bournemouth side that beat Brighton 3-0 at the weekend, with Andoni Iraola still hoping a new deal can be thrashed out on the south coast, but Newcastle officials are hoping the defender can be persuaded to head to the North-East.

As well as stepping up their attempts to bring in new players, Howe and the rest of Newcastle’s recruitment team will be making final decisions over who might be leaving Tyneside this summer in the next few days.

Mark Gillespie is set to sign a new 12-month contract extending his stay with the Magpies, but his fellow goalkeeper, Loris Karius, looks set to leave when his deal expires at the end of the current campaign.

Jeff Hendrick, who is currently on loan at Sheffield Wednesday, will not be offered a new deal to keep him on Newcastle books, while Paul Dummett and Matt Ritchie are also due to become free agents this summer.