NEWCASTLE United are on the brink of signing promising Australian defender Curtis Good – who is on the verge of a call-up to the Socceroos senior squad.
The Journal understands that Good’s agent Zeljko Susa will jet into the UK later today and is hoping to push through a deal for the 19-year-old to join United in a deal worth around £400,000.
Newcastle have been locked in talks with Good’s club Melbourne Heart for most of the summer and reports in Australia yesterday claimed a deal has been struck. But the Journal has been told there is still work to be done on a deal for the defender, who impressed United during a two-week trial in May.
As it stands, Good is the only centre-back on United’s summer hit-list as they prepare to go into next season with Steven Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini as their main centre-back pairing.
Taylor has made a good recovery from a ruptured Achilles and was in Portugal with physio Derek Wright this week as they complete the final stages of a gruelling rehab.
United would like to add Good to their development squad but if he impressed, the teenager would likely get opportunities as Newcastle look to compete on four fronts next season. At the moment United are still talking to the Australian Premier League club about a possible fee, with Newcastle – as ever – looking to get the best possible deal for the 19-year-old. But there is optimism that a breakthrough can be achieved before the start of pre-season training next week.
It will also help that Susa is in the United Kingdom next week, and would be able to finalise the details of a five-year contract quickly if the two teams can reach an agreement.
“The clubs have been talking for a while and we’re still unsure whether it’s actually happening,” Susa told The Journal.
“I know Newcastle like him and I’m hopeful but I’m not 100% at the moment on the deal.”
Although United supporters will not know much about the defender, he has been earmarked as one of the most promising prospects in the Australian game and has already been asked to join the next Socceroos training camp for the coaches to take a closer look at him.
After just one season in the Australian Premier League he was called up to the under-20 squad. The left-footed defender is 6ft 1in and is comfortable on the ball – a major asset for a United team that are looking to evolve once again next season.
“Of course, it is a huge step up for Curtis because the EPL (English Premier League) is another level from the APL but he is a very talented kid,” Susa said.
There has been other interest in Good, but Susa said that Newcastle remains the priority for the player.
“The reality is we’re not trying to flick him on to anyone. Newcastle United is a massive, massive club with a great history,” he said.
“He certainly enjoyed himself at Newcastle. I think we just want to wait and see what happens with Newcastle before we look at anything else with Curtis.”
Although some may find it strange that United are not hunting for an experienced centre-back at the moment, they have Fabricio Coloccini, Taylor and Mike Williamson fighting for two places.
And Williamson is sure that the club will continue to go from strength to strength – despite the daunting task of trying to match last season’s achievement.
He told the club’s official website: “It’s a tough one coming off the back of last season, but we’re just looking to build.
“We’ve laid the foundations now and we’ve got a fantastic squad.
“Last season, the lads worked so hard and the performances and consistency were outstanding.
“We saw it every day on the training ground - something that the supporters don’t see - and everyone made an incredible contribution.
“So we’re just going to try and keep doing what we’ve been doing and try and improve in the areas that we need to.”