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