Magpies making transfer progress

Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez.
Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez.

Newcastle United are closing in on a deal for Florian Lejeune – and a second move is in the pipeline.

Eibar defender Lejeune is set to return to England after a year in Spain.

The Magpies and the La Liga club have been involved in protracted talks over an £8.8million switch to St James’s Park.

Rafa Benitez, keen to see new arrivals before his squad reports back for pre-season training on Monday, wants to strengthen his defensive options ahead of Newcastle’s return to the Premier League.

And Lejeune – who joined Eibar from Manchester City last summer – is understood to be keen on a move to Tyneside.

Fran Garagarza, the Spanish club’s sporting director, expects the 26-year-old to join an English club.

“Right now, all the roads point to England,” said Garagarza. “The English are showing their interest, and we fear that it will not continue with us.”

Lejeune signed a four-year deal at the club, which finished 10th last season.

Meanwhile, we reported at the weekend that Newcastle were not prepared to pay the £17.5million fee being demanding by Benfica for midfielder Andreas Samaris.

Reports in Portugal, however, claim that a compromise deal could yet be reached.

* Defender Lubomir Satka has signed for Slovakian club DAC 1904.

The 21-year-old, released by Newcastle this summer after five years at St James’s Park, had a loan spell at the club, based in the town of Dunajska Streda, last season.