Newcastle hope to seal signing of £6.7m Ajax midfielder Vurnon Anita

Ajax midfielder will discuss personal terms and meet Pardew after two clubs agree on transfer fee

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The Independent Football

Newcastle remain optimistic they will sign the Ajax midfielder Vurnon Anita, but the player has still to finalise his £6.7m move to St James' Park.

A fee has been agreed for the 23-year-old and further negotiations over personal terms are expected to take place this week.

"The clubs have a deal, I think," Anita said. "Now I have to reach an agreement with Newcastle. I have an offer, but I can't say more about this.

"The clubs have agreed a fee, but I have not. I'm still an Ajax player. I think it will be finished soon, but you never know how it will go.

"I have played for Ajax for 13 years, it has been a great time and I am grateful to Ajax.

"Now it's up to me. But first I want to talk with the manager of Newcastle United before taking a decision. The whole picture has to be right for me."

For their part, Newcastle are confident that they can finalise a deal for a player they have tracked for a significant period of time.

Manager Alan Pardew remains keen to strengthen his squad before the season begins, although, as yet, he has not lost any of the players who last season took Newcastle to a fifth-place finish in the Premier League.

He hopes to complete the signing of Anita, who can also play at left-back, and achieve a positive outcome in the long-running pursuit of France international Mathieu Debuchy. The 26-year-old remains eager to leave Lille despite attempted blocks on any deal by his current employers.

Newcastle are keen to strengthen their defence with the addition of at least two new defenders by the time the window closes at the end this month. Their squad faces an early test from a Europa League campaign now confirmed to start on 23 August.

Uefa last night knocked back Newcastle's appeal to switch the first leg of their tie with Atromitos to St James' Park in order to avoid travelling back from Greece to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge for their televised clash on 25 August. They now face an 8pm kick-off in Greece and a Premier League game at the European champions less than 48 hours later.


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