By Will Butcher

Italian heavyweights AC Milan are set to announce the signing of ex-Real Madrid defender Alvaro Arbeloa, dashing Newcastle hopes of a second reunion under Rafa Benitez.

Italian newspaper Metropolis claimed that Newcastle had been linked with a move for the 33-year-old right-back, who has played for Benitez before.

The Newcastle manager brought him to Liverpool from Deportivo La Coruna and was then reunited with him at Real Madrid.

Now, Italian website Gazzetta Dello Sport have reported that Arbeloa has agreed a move to the San Siro, with the Spanish international set to sign on a free transfer.

Arbeloa appeared 233 times for Real over seven seasons, but found first-team opportunities restricted this season with just six La Liga appearances and a further two in the Champions League.

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The Magpies’ interest in Arbeloa came after Dutch right-back Daryl Janmaat had been linked with a move back to the Premier League following the North East side’s relegation.

Benitez has sparked a mini revolution at St. James’ Park during his first transfer window as Newcastle boss. He’s brought in six new players, including Matt Ritchie, Dwight Gayle and Grant Hanley.

In other Newcastle transfer news, Benitez is keen on adding football league experience to his side with this highly-rated duo at the top of his list.