Newcastle to sign defender who made little impact with Sunderland

Javier Manquillo
Javier Manquillo
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Former Sunderland defender Javier Manquillo is set to join Newcastle United – and Rafa Benitez feels his squad is finally taking shape.

The club is set to sign both Manquillo and young Norwich defender Jacob Murphy.

Manquillo is joining from Atletico Madrid after an unimpressive year on loan at the Stadium of Light, while Murphy is a £12million capture.

The pair have met up with their new team-mates in Ireland ahead of Saturday’s friendly at Preston North End.

And the double swoop is expected to be confirmed today.

“It’s important to have more additions,” said Benitez. “We need to improve the squad.”

Benitez said he was confident United owner Mike Ashley would “keep his word” and back him in the transfer market earlier this week.

Newcastle’s manager had been frustrated at what he felt was a lack of progress in the transfer market.

For his part, Benitez believes the promoted club is doing prudent business.

“We’re not signing top-class players in the Premier League, we’re signing the players we can and the players who can do a job for us,” he said.

Manquillo also had a season on loan at Liverpool earlier in his career.

And Benitez feels the 23-year-old’s Premier League experience, and versatility, will prove useful to him in the coming campaign.

Manquillo will compete with DeAndre Yedlin for a place at right-back following the departure of out-of-contract Vurnon Anita.

The Spain Under-21 international can also play at left-back.

Meanwhile, Benitez believes winger Murphy, 22, has the talent, and “character and personality”, needed to play for Newcastsle.

“I’m really pleased with him,” said Benitez, speaking at the launch of the club’s all-black third kit in Dublin’s Sports Direct.

“He has shown character and personality. He has pace. But it is also his desire to play for Newcastle.”

Benitez was considering a move for his twin brother Josh, a forward at Norwich, a year ago when the club was last at Carlton House, Co Kildare, for pre-season training.

“We were here in Ireland last year and we were talking about his brother,” said Benitez. “We liked his brother and we spoke about him. But I think we have signed the right one, the one I wanted!”