By Dominic Toner
Newcastle are close to signing Christian Atsu – and the club’s supporters have expressed their delight over the imminent move.
ESPN correspondent Pete O’Rourke revealed on his personal Twitter account on Monday evening that Newcastle have agreed a loan deal for Chelsea winger Atsu.
Atsu, 24, is now set to complete a medical at St James’ Park and become the latest signing made by Rafa Benitez this summer.
Newcastle fans have backed Atsu to be a success at the club and several fans are aware of his blistering pace that looks set to terrorise Championship defences.
Here are a selection of the messages on Twitter:
Looking forward to seeing Atsu in the black & white stripes. Looks pacey, powerful, direct with good technique. #NUFC
— Morgan™ (@paulm1980) August 29, 2016
Atsu is rapid but that’s about as far as my knowledge goes, excited to see what he can bring #NUFC
— Ben Taylor (@BenjyBoy_96) August 29, 2016
Christian Atsu is another excellent signing by #nufc. They have a squad better than a few Premier League sides. Need to push on now.
— Jordan Elgott (@JElgott) August 29, 2016
Atsu deal agreed, we’ve got some strength in depth now #nufc
— Narra (@Narravark) August 29, 2016
Ravel Callum and Atsu will give us an added dimension for sure. What an amazing job Rafa has done in this window 👍#nufc
— Toon Rafalution (@TOONRafalution) August 29, 2016
@SkySportsNewsHQ he’s decent and can do a Job for Newcastle,that’s a good signing
— Jay Aqua (@joseaqua90) August 29, 2016
I am a Christian. I just sneezed!!! ”Atsu”. Bless me. Great signing by newcastle. Welcome to the toon Christian Astu. #nufc
— HenryHcode (@HenryHcode) August 29, 2016
Sky Sports’ north-east correspondent Keith Downie initially reported that the Magpies had enquired about Atsu for a loan move but he was one of several options the club were looking at.
The Mail claim that Newcastle have also opened talks with West Brom over a move for 25-year-old Callum McManaman as they increase their search for midfielder options.
Attacker Atsu, who was voted the Best Player of the African Cup of Nations in 2015, made just 12 appearances in total for both Bournemouth and Malaga last term after suffering a stress fracture to his shin.
The 42-time Ghana international has less than two years remaining on his Stamford Bridge contract.
Newcastle’s interest comes after winger Rolando Aarons was ruled out for eight weeks after fracturing a metatarsal against Cheltenham Town in the EFL Cup last week.
Benitez has lost attacking wingers Andros Townsend, Florian Thauvin and Remy Cabella, and is resigned to losing Euro 2016 finalist Moussa Sissoko.
In other Newcastle transfer news, a deal for their midfielder is in doubt after medical problems.