Newcastle Transfers: Former Sunderland Defender To Join Magpies?

Former Sunderland man ready to sign for north-east rivals.

Liverpool's Javi Manquillo during the Barclays Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London.
Adam Davy/PA Wire

Newcastle are closing in on the signing of Atletico Madrid full-back Javier Manquillo, according to the Evening Chronicle.

Manager Rafael Benitez has been in the market for defensive cover this summer as his Championship-winning side prepare for their first season back in the top flight.

And Manquillo - having impressed last year on loan at north-east rivals Sunderland - is said to be on the Spaniard's radar.

It is reported that the Magpies have agreed a fee with Atletico for the right-sided defender, who is set to become the Toon's fourth signing of the window.

Benitez has already strengthened his hand with the acquisitions of wide-man Christian Atsu and centre-back Florian Lejeune, with a deal for Norwich City's England U21 winger Jacob Murphy thought to be close.

The ex-Liverpool boss is now publicly leaning on Newcastle owner Mike Ashley to stump up more funds, after being priced out of several big transfers earlier in the summer.

The 57-year-old is quoted as saying: “Hopefully, Mike can keep his word and we can do what we want to do.”

A centre-forward to provide competition for last season's top scorer, Dwight Gayle, is said to be the club's next priority.