IT will be one in and one out to start Newcastle United’s summer transfer business, with a deal to sign Lloyd Kelly having been finalised at the same time as Ryan Fraser has agreed personal terms with Southampton.

Kelly’s arrival as a free agent has been in the pipeline for a number of weeks, but the terms of the defender’s move to St James’ Park have only been finalised in the last few days.

The 25-year-old, who turned down a number of offers of a new deal at Bournemouth in order to move to St James’ Park, will sign a four-year contract on Tyneside once his current agreement at the Vitality Stadium officially expires.

The defender received offers from a number of clubs, but was always keen to move to Newcastle, where he will be reunited with Magpies head coach Eddie Howe. Howe signed Kelly from Bristol City for around £13m when he was Bournemouth manager.

Kelly will undergo a medical before his move is confirmed, and having missed out on a deal for Tosin Adarabioyo, who opted to join Chelsea instead of Newcastle, the successful completion of his signing represents a welcome boost for Howe and the rest of the Magpies’ recruitment team.

Kelly can play as a left-sided centre-half or a left-back, and his arrival will strengthen a defensive unit that was badly stretched on a number of occasions last season. The Bristol-born defender could be an especially important figure in the early weeks of next season as both Sven Botman and Jamaal Lascelles are expected to be unavailable for the start of the campaign as they continue to recover from cruciate-ligament injuries.

With the deal for Kelly now agreed, Newcastle’s hierarchy will switch their attention to the other key areas on the club’s transfer to-do list this summer. The club want to sign a striker, a right-sided attacker, another defender and a goalkeeper, although their room for manoeuvre remains limited because of the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability rules.


Clearly, Newcastle’s priorities will have to change if they lose either Bruno Guimaraes, whose contract contains a £100m release clause that will expire on June 30, or Alexander Isak, who continues to be heavily linked with Arsenal. At this stage, however, Newcastle are planning their summer recruitment on the assumption that both players will still be part of the squad next season.

The Magpies are also hoping to trim a number of fringe players from their squad list before the transfer window closes at the end of August, with Fraser set to be the first confirmed departee.

The winger spent last season on loan at Southampton, and was a prominent figure in the Saints’ successful promotion from the Championship, playing in the majority of last month’s play-off final victory over Leeds United at Wembley.

Southampton boss Russell Martin had always been clear that he wanted to sign Fraser on a permanent basis, assuming his club won promotion, and the Scotland international spelled out his desire to make a full-time switch to St Mary’s in the latter stages of the season.

Talks over a permanent move have taken place, and Fraser is understood to have verbally agreed the terms of a contract with Southampton. The club will now have to negotiate with Newcastle to agree a fee for the 30-year-old, who is set to enter the final year of his Magpies contract later this month, but with Howe adamant he will not be restoring Fraser to the first-team fold, that should not be too much of an issue.

Newcastle are also hoping to reach an agreement with Isaac Hayden that will effectively see them pay up the remainder of the midfielder’s contract. Hayden, who spent the second half of last season on loan at QPR, is contracted on Tyneside until the summer of 2026.

Martin Dubravka is another player who is set to leave this summer, with Celtic having expressed an interest in the Slovakian. Newcastle are hoping to sign James Trafford from Burnley, which would make Dubravka surplus to requirements with Nick Pope and Mark Gillespie also on the Magpies’ books.