Newcastle United boss hopes for £17million transfer breakthrough

Afriyie Acquah in action for Parma against Aston Villa
Afriyie Acquah in action for Parma against Aston Villa
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Afriyie Acquah has denied that his move to Newcastle United is almost done – as Rafa Benitez eyes a £17million double transfer breakthrough.

Acquah has been linked with a move from Torino to Tyneside, with some reports claiming the deal was 90 per cent sealed.

The 25-year-old defensive midfielder is understood to be a target for Newcastle boss Benitez as he looks to strengthen his engine room.

But £8million-rated Acquah took to Twitter yesterday to deny the move was imminent.

He tweeted a video of himself in an interview, saying: “It is true, it is like 90 per cent I can move to England.

“It is a dream to play in England, so I hope that any deal which is there will come true and I will move there.

“It is my dream to play in England because the way I play – when I move there I think I will play well and then something can change in my football and that’s why I want to move there.”

The Ghana international only joined the club in 2015 from Hoffenheim for €3 million, having spent most of his career in Italy with Palermo, Parma and Sampdoria, the latter two clubs on loan.

Meanwhile, Newcastle are hopeful of completing a deal for Eibar defender Florian Lejeune within days.

The Magpies have been locked in negotiations with the LaLiga outfit for some time over the 26-year-old Frenchman, who has an £8.7million release clause in his contract.

However, sources on Tyneside have indicated that they are close to reaching an agreement which would hand manager Rafael Benitez his first summer signing.

Former Auxerre and Villarreal central defender Lejeune signed for Manchester City in July 2015, but was loaned straight out to Spanish second division side Girona, where he had spent the previous campaign, also on loan.

He joined Eibar on a permanent deal for just £1.2million 12 months later and made 34 league appearances last season as the club finished in 10th place.

It has been a testing few weeks for the Magpies in the summer transfer market with Benitez still awaiting a breakthrough. So far, he has only turned Christian Atsu’s loan deal into a permanent switch from Chelsea.