Toon target set to seal ‘dream’ move

ROMAIN Amalfitano is set to seal his “dream” move to Newcastle United.

The midfielder – who is out of contract at French club Reims this summer – is understood to have agreed a three-year deal with the club.

Amalfitano was seen arriving at Newcastle International Airport yesterday to complete the formalities of his long-anticipated move to English football.

However, fans could have to wait for further signings, with Newcastle manager Alan Pardew believing most business will be done after next month’s European Championships.

SportMail first reported United’s interest in Amalfitano, 22, in February

And Nice-born Amalfitano – who helped his club win promotion to Ligue 1 last season – confirmed the club’s interest in him at the time.

“Newcastle is a fantastic club, and to play for them would be a dream come true, but nothing is done as yet,” said Amalfitano, whose elder brother Morgan plays for Olympique Marseille.

Things have moved on since then, and Amalfitano, whose sibling is in the France squad with Newcastle’s Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa, will now head away on his summer holidays before reporting back for pre-season training in July.

Pardew – who will lose out of contract Danny Guthrie this summer – is looking to strengthen his midfield options in the transfer window.

Should United get through their Europa League qualifier in late August, they will enter the demanding group stage of the competition, when Pardew will have to rotate his squad.

Pardew feels playing in Europe on a weekly basis would take a toll on the club’s Premier League campaign, as it did with Stoke City last season.

“I’m hoping that I will educate our fans for next season,” said Pardew.

“If they think we can finish fifth with a European campaign and the finances we’ve got, it’s impossible. I honesstly believe you need to be a bit more open with the fans.

“The problem some managers have is that they’re not open enough.

“I wouldn’t say we couldn’t challenge for the top six if we got knocked out of Europe. Then we wouldn’t have those extra 13 games.”