New­cas­tle’s £20m Wil­son bid ac­cepted as Villa end in­ter­est

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Total Football - By Luke Ed­wards

New­cas­tle United have had a £20mil­lion bid for striker Cal­lum Wil­son ac­cepted by Bournemout­h, af­ter As­ton Villa pulled out of the race to sign the Eng­land in­ter­na­tional.

New­cas­tle were con­fi­dent they had won the bat­tle for the 28-yearold as they had been told he pre­ferred the move to the North East and were able to of­fer the fee in one lump sum. Villa had asked to pay in in­stal­ments.

The sign­ing will be a ma­jor coup for Steve Bruce, the New­cas­tle man­ager, who has taken charge of re­cruit­ment this sum­mer and has per­suaded owner Mike Ash­ley to spend heav­ily on a player of Wil­son’s age.

Bruce ar­gued Wil­son’s best years were ahead of him and that he was his top cen­tre-for­ward tar­get, even though the scout­ing depart­ment had of­fered al­ter­na­tives. The ar­rival of Wil­son would round off a suc­cess­ful few days for New­cas­tle, with Ryan Fraser, an­other for­mer Bournemout­h player, poised to sign on a free trans­fer and Nor­wich City’s ex­cit­ing young full-back, Ja­mal Lewis, also un­der­stood to be head­ing to the club.

Lewis, a North­ern Ire­land in­ter­na­tional, came highly rec­om­mended by Steve Harper, who is the coun­try’s goal­keep­ing coach as well as be­ing on the coach­ing staff at St James’ Park.

All three play­ers are con­sid­ered to be “first-team ready”. Bruce told Ash­ley in their phone call at the end of last sea­son that he wanted to in­vest in play­ers with Premier League ex­pe­ri­ence, rather than risk bring­ing in play­ers from abroad who would need time to set­tle.

New­cas­tle also have two do­mes­tic loan berths avail­able to fill. Bruce has ex­pressed an in­ter­est in two Arse­nal play­ers, cen­tre-back Rob Hold­ing and striker Ed­die Nke­tiah, but would only be able to sign one of them on loan.

New­cas­tle have also asked Liver­pool to con­sider them as a suit­able des­ti­na­tion if they al­low Rhian Brew­ster, the Eng­land Un­der-21 in­ter­na­tional, out on loan.

First choice: Cal­lum Wil­son is said to pre­fer a move to the North East as Bournemout­h pre­pare to sell him to New­cas­tle

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