Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has completed his first summer signing by clinching a deal for Reims midfielder Romain Amalfitano.
The 22-year-old, who is out of contract at the French club, will officially become a Magpies player on July 1.
His arrival was confirmed by the Magpies late yesterday afternoon, although no details of the length of his contract have been released.
Amalfitano said: “I am very happy to be a Newcastle player. I have seen a bit of the city already and it is a change from France, but one I am really looking forward to.
“When a club like Newcastle wants you to play for them, it can only be a good thing.
“I have taken the opportunity to play in the Premier League and cannot wait to get going.”
Nice-born Amalfitano, whose older brother Morgan is at Marseille, can play either on the right side of midfield or through the middle.
He becomes the latest recruit from France to join Pardew’s revolution with Newcastle treading a well-worn path having done so hugely successfully in the recent past.
Hatem Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye played major roles in last season’s fifth-place finish in the Barclays Premier League, while Sylvain Marveaux’s opportunities were severely limited by injury and Mehdi Abeid is regarded as a promising talent for the future.
Compatriot Gabriel Obertan is also on the Tyneside books, although he had a mixed first season with the club.
The Magpies’ transfer policy, which has become a model for clubs unable to call upon the eye-watering spending power of the Premier League’s powerhouses, has reaped rich rewards in recent seasons with the likes of Cheick Tiote, Cabaye, Ben Arfa, Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse making major impacts.
A near-£10million January swoop for Cisse was funded from the proceeds of Andy Carroll’s £35million departure for Liverpool a year earlier, but the fees paid for Tiote and Cabaye amounted to roughly the same total and, like the Senegal international, they have significantly enhanced both their reputations and values since.
Amalfitano will not be the last arrival this summer with Pardew keen to add to both the size and quality of his squad as he prepares for Europa League football next season and the extra demands that will bring.
However, he will have to do so on a budget once again, and all the while knowing his star men are vulnerable to the advances of Europe’s big spenders.