By Will Butcher

Newcastle are in talks with Premier League giants Chelsea over a permanent deal for winger Christian Atsu, according to a Sky Sports journalist.

Sky Sports correspondent Keith Downie revealed on his personal Twitter account that the Toon were locked in negotiations with Chelsea over a move worth £6.2million for Atsu.

Football site ESPN FC claim sources close to Atsu have the option to complete a permanent move for Atsu after completing his season-long loan.

Ghana international Atsu has been in sublime form towards the tail end of the season for Rafa Benitez’s side, scoring two goals in his final three games as Newcastle gained promotion.

However, a move seemed to have derailed for the former Porto star, as he returned to Chelsea after Newcastle achieved champions status on May 7.

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It was said that Newcastle had a week to seal the deal, with that deadline seemingly running out yesterday.

However, it looks like that deadline was premature as Newcastle are now said to be locked in talks.

Known for his blistering pace that allows him to drift past opponents before reaching the byline as well as his ability from set pieces, Atsu scored five goals from the left flank in his 35 league and cup appearances for Benitez’s side.

Atsu has just 12 months to run on his current deal at Stamford Bridge, after failing to gain any kind of regular first-team action. It has seen him loaned out to Everton, Bournemouth and Malaga as well as the Magpies.

It seems that Antonio Conte is now ready to cash in on the fleet-footed winger with Newcastle ready to complete their first signing.

Football Insider verdict:

If Benitez is to have any chance of keeping his side in England’s top flight, he must keep the core of his side together and improve on that, rather than seeing some of them leave. That includes keeping Atsu on Tyneside, as he proved his worth towards the end of the season for the Magpies. At only £6.2million, Atsu is available at a bargain price and his ability to produce something out of nothing could be crucial in seeing the Toon earn Premier League points. The permanent signing of Atsu could see Yoann Gouffran’s future decided, though, with only six weeks left on his St. James’ Park contract.

In other Newcastle transfer news, the father of this reported transfer target has dropped a huge hint on Twitter.

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