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French league champions had seen a £14m bid rejected but appear to have made a breakthrough in negotiations to open personal terms with the French midfielder

Mathieu Debuchy in action for France

Newcastle close in on France international Mathieu Debuchy

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew was today poised to make a significant transfer breakthrough as he closed in on Lille full-back Mathieu Debuchy.

DEMBA BA: The Newcastle striker has scored 16 Premier League goals this season

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew desperate to retain services of striker Demba Ba

Alan Pardew has insisted that he is working as hard as he can to keep star player Demba Ba as a Newcastle player next season.

Coventry midfielder Bigirimana

Newcastle make move for Coventry youngster Gaël Bigirimana

Newcastle are set to sign Coventry's young central midfielder Gaël Bigirimana.

Ministers visits area hit by floods

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman will visit the North East of England today as home-owners, businesses and the insurance industry count the cost of a major clean-up operation after freak storms hit the country.

East Coast rail line reopens after landslip

A key London to Scotland rail route reopened today following the floods that have caused travel chaos and brought misery to many householders.

School's textbook exam blunder

Fifty gifted students were disqualified from an exam after teachers mistakenly told them they could take books in with them.

Grayson Perry dresses as his alter ego, Claire, to join a group of women for a night out

In the Best Possible Taste, Tuesday Channel 4
Horizon: The Transit of Venus, Tuesday, BBC2

Grayson Perry's study of working-class tastes was insightful, moving, even funny

Double delight for lottery couple

A couple won almost £100,000 on the lottery twice over, after accidentally buying two tickets, Camelot has revealed.

Beaches fly flag for England

An increasing number of England's beaches have won Blue Flag awards this year, bringing the country into the top 10 worldwide.

Fleet Road, Fleet, Hampshire, England

Trending: What's the buzz about Fleet? Sex toys may provide the answer

Last year Fleet in Hampshire topped a national quality of life survey, now a new study might explain why: its residents spend more money on sex toys than anywhere else.

Five held over internet 'racism'

Five suspected far-right extremists were arrested by counter-terror detectives today after race-hate material was posted online.

Kenny Dalglish looks to the heavens during the 2-0 defeat

Liverpool are a 'laughing stock' say former player John Aldridge

The former Liverpool striker John Aldridge said yesterday that the club was "in crisis".

Paedophile jailed for terrifying attacks on young girls

A paedophile who snatched four girls from the street in the 1980s and 1990s, sexually abused them and then dumped them was jailed for 16 years today.

Two-times world champion, Jocky Wilson of Scotland, has passed away

Darts legend Jocky Wilson dies aged 62

Jocky Wilson, the darts player who transformed himself from a miner into darts world champion, has died aged 62. The two-times world champion enjoyed a successful career after turning professional in 1979 to his retirement in 1996.

Mongolia's Ser-Od Bat-Ochir in the blue and white vest of Morpeth Harriers

London Eye: Mongolia marathon man makes great strides as adopted Geordie

Standing outside the Next store on the Team Valley Trading Estate in Gateshead, off to the right you can see the rusty outline of Antony Gormley's Angel of the North.

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