Newcastle United target Douglas will get big move

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NEWCASTLE United target Douglas will be allowed to leave FC Twente this summer to join a Premier League club.

The imposing defender has held talks with his manager, Steve McClaren, over his future.

FC Twente have an option to extend his contract, which expires in the summer. But McClaren won’t stand in Douglas’s way, with the Dutch club understood to have already identified a replacement.

The 24-year-old – a former team-mate of Cheik Tiote at FC Twente – has been watched a number of times by Newcastle.

The club are paying increasingly close attention to the Eredivisie through well-connected chief scout Graham Carr, and PSV Eindhoven left-back Erik Pieters is also interesting them, as is Ajax’s Jan Vertonghen.

Ironically, Douglas has also been scouted by Ajax as a potential replacement for Vertonghen, while Aston Villa and Fulham have been linked with moves for the Brazilian, who has a Dutch passport and could represent Holland.

He scored in FC Twente’s 2-0 win over Roda JC at the weekend, the result moving McClaren’s side to within a point of leaders AZ Alkmaar.

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew tried and failed to sign a centre-half in the January transfer window after losing Steven Taylor to long-term injury. And signing a defender is a priority for Pardew, conscious his squad would need to be strengthened significantly should Newcastle qualify for European competition next season.

Pardew has already had detailed discussions with owner Mike Ashley over the club’s summer transfer plans.

He said last weekend that he was also looking to add two defenders to the club’s developement squad, believing it’s one area where the club is lacking strength in depth.

Pardew, meanwhile, has compared Papiss Cisse to former Magpies hero legend Alan Shearer.

The striker netted both goals in Sunday’s 2-0 win over Liverpool to take his tally for the club to seven.

And Cisse’s predatory instincts have seen him likened to former United Andy Cole, who plundered 41 goals in his first full season at the club.

Pardew said: “Cisse was terrific, not just for his two goals, but for his hold-up play and everything else.

“You could have blinked and thought it was Alan – he put that sort of performance in. I couldn’t pay him a higher tribute than that.”