Hughton builds for future as Gosling links up with Magpies

Chris Hughton once again invested in potential yesterday as he finally clinched a deal for the former Everton starlet Dan Gosling.

Newcastle have spent the summer trying to strengthen their squad for life back in the Premier League on a tight budget, and are delighted to have snapped up the 20-year-old on a free transfer after exploiting his complicated contractual situation at Goodison Park.

He follows the Nottingham Forest utility player James Perch, 24, into the club with Hughton investing in players he believes will develop and increase in value over the course of their contracts.

Newcastle have also reportedly made an offer for Velez Sarsfield full-back Nicolas Otamendi, the 22-year-old Argentine, who can play at centre-back or right-back. The Magpies will hope he has improved since he struggled against Germany in the World Cup quarter-final defeat in Cape Town. He was eventually substituted by Diego Maradona in the 70th minute. Velez Sarsfield hope to get £8.5m for the player.

Gosling, who will wear the No 15 jersey, has signed a four-year deal, although it will be several months before he is able to pull on the black and white shirt in earnest as he continues his recovery from a serious knee injury.

However, he was delighted to have clinched his move to St James' Park. Gosling said: "It's a brilliant move for me. Now that the deal is done, I just can't wait to get started. I have played at St James' Park before and know all about the amazing atmosphere.

"Playing there in a black and white shirt is something I have thought about already, and it will be a great day when I finally get to walk out in front of 50,000 people.

"The gaffer and all of the lads have been great with me and made me feel really welcome since I arrived, and hopefully I can repay the faith that they have shown in me."

The deal was agreed in principle some time ago after the Magpies took advantage of Everton's failure to follow up a verbal contract offer in writing by the prescribed deadline. An independent hearing convened under Premier League rules cleared the way for Newcastle to push home their interest.

Hughton does have some money to spend this summer despite the club's revelation at the end of the last campaign that there would be no new capital outlay on players.

However, he has dismissed speculation that Real Madrid striker Raul and Marseilles midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa are targets.