Newcastle United have agreed a deal to sign France international defender Mathieu Debuchy from Lille.
Alan Pardew's side have finally reached an agreement with the French outfit on a €6m (£4.9m) transfer after failing to land the right-back despite protracted talks during the summer.
The 27-year-old, a former team-mate of Yohan Cabaye, has made no secret of his desire to head for Tyneside, and a resolution to the long-running saga would come as a huge relief to Pardew.
The 51-year-old saw his team score three times at Manchester United on Boxing Day and at Arsenal on Saturday yet leave empty-handed having conceded a total of 11 times.
Newcastle's lack of depth has been cruelly exposed by injuries and suspensions in recent weeks and they headed for the Emirates Stadium with only one central defender available, Fabricio Coloccini.
Pardew put midfielder James Perch in as Coloccini's partner and he said: "It hasn't been often that we went into a game with James at centre-half. He's been doing terrific for us in midfield and we missed him a little bit in there, just to shore the game up. So what you gain from him stepping in at centre-half, we missed in midfield."Reuse content