NEWCASTLE United believe they have secured the signing of Moussa Sissoko on a pre-contract agreement – but still want to broker a deal for the Toulouse midfielder to play the second half of the season on Tyneside.
Sissoko, who was suspended by Toulouse for expressing his desire to move this month, is one of two deals Newcastle want to tie up before next Thursday’s deadline.
They are also set to table a second bid for Florian Thauvin of Bastia, the France under-21 striker they envisage as playing back-up to Papiss Cissé.
With Fabricio Coloccini now set to stay at Newcastle, that would conclude their business for the month – although they are also scouring the market for left-sided players.
Newcastle are confident they have done enough to sign Sissoko, who is a highly-rated midfielder.
He has verbally agreed to join but paperwork has not been completed as United look to negotiate a January exit amid acrimonious scenes in France.
Toulouse want £3million for the player, Newcastle currently rate him closer to £1.5million.
His current club reacted furiously to his decision to leave.
Toulouse coach Alain Casanova said Sissoko’s decision to leave had prompted the club’s decision to suspend him – and said he fully supported that decision.
He said: “The whole club shows full solidarity with the chairman’s decision.
“His absence is a big loss for the team , but that decision is correct.”