NEWCASTLE United are closing in on their first signing of the summer – Swansea City’s Neil Taylor.
The left-back, right, has emerged as a surprise target, with the club ready to take advantage of a £1m buy-out clause in his contract.
Taylor – who can also play on the left side of midfield – impressed last season under Brendan Rodgers, with Swansea ultimately winning promotion to the Premier League through the play-offs.
Taylor, however, was suspended for the Wembley final, which saw Swansea overcome Reading, after being dismissed in their semi-final first-leg against Nottingham Forest.
Newcastle declined to comment on speculation linking them with Taylor today, but it is understood the club is hopeful of bringing the promising 22-year-old to St James’s Park.
Meanwhile, first-choice left-back Jose Enrique, again linked with Liverpool over the weekend, is still mulling over the contract offer made to him last week.
Manager Alan Pardew is looking to strengthen his squad in several areas, among them the full-back and wide positions.
The club are still working on a number of other potential deals, among them a raid for Lille’s 22-year-old midfielder Gervinho.
And Newcastle hope to confirm the capture of Gervinho’s colleague Yohan Cabaye later this month, the 25-year-old having already told his team-mates he will sign for United in the summer transfer window.
Lorient’s Gameiro and Reading’s Shane Long are two striking targets, though the former has suggested his preferred destination is Spain.
* NEWCASTLE United goalkeeper Tim Krul kept a clean sheet on his senior Holland debut against Brazil, the two sides playing out a goalless draw in Goiania on Saturday.
Krul – who ended the season in goal for United – pulled off a superb save to deny Neymar in the game.