By Harry Sykes
Newcastle have lost out to bitter rivals Sunderland in their bid to sign defender Paddy McNair, according to a report.
The Telegraph claim Manchester United youthful pair McNair and Donald Love underwent medicals at Sunderland on Wednesday after agreeing to join the north-east club.
It is said that Sunderland will pay up to £7million for Northern Ireland utility man McNair made up of a £5million up-front fee plus £2million of add-ons.
The 21-year-old had been high on Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez’s shortlist as the Spaniard looks to continue his St James’ Park revolution.
Sky Sports chief reporter and transfer expert Kaveh Solhekol claimed on his personal Twitter account at the end of last week that Newcastle were in a four-team tussle to sign McNair, with the player also interesting Premier League sides Sunderland, Burnley and Middlesbrough.
Sunderland, Newcastle, Middlesbrough & Burnley interested in Manchester United defender Paddy McNair
— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) August 5, 2016
McNair played an important part for his country this summer, featuring in two of Northern Ireland’s Euro 2016 matches as they progressed from the group stages to the round of 16.
The Daily Star claim that the versatile defender has been told he can leave Old Trafford this summer, but Benitez will have to move quickly if he is to beat the competition to McNair’s signature.
McNair has demonstrated his versatility by excelling in a defensive midfield role for his country, while he has also played at right-back and centre-back for his club.
Newcastle have signed eight players in this summer’s window but only one of them, right-back Jesus Gamez, is a defender, although the versatile Isaac Hayden can slot in at centre-back in addition to his new midfield enforcer position.
In other Newcastle transfer news, Benitez is closing in on another new defender signing.