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Magpies set to swoop for youngster Lascelles

It’s rather busy on Tyneside this summer. Seven new arrivals, and no sign of letting up anytime soon. Priced at 66/1 to break into the top four next season, and while unlikely, there is no reason why they couldn’t mount a challenge if the team gels quickly, with Everton’s attempt last campaign a prime example.

The latest target for the Magpies is 20-year-old Nottingham Forest starlet Jamaal Lascelles who plies his trade in the centre of defence. While most of Alan Pardew’s signings so far have been more attacking options, with the exception of right back Daryl Janmaat, it seems he is now keen to further bolster the strength of his defence.

At the minute, they currently have Fabricio Coloccini, Steven Taylor and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa at centre back and the addition of Lascelles should provide more depth, however Pardew may agree to let him return to Forest on loan for the first half of the campaign.

Even though the midlands outfit have a number of injuries at centre back, boss Stuart Pearce is open to letting Lascelles go, in order to reinvest the reported £3m fee to strengthen his squad.

It would be the second signing for the north east club in around as many days, after Newcastle secured Argentine attacker Facundo Ferreyra on loan for a season, with a view to a permanent move. The 23-year-old is owned by Shakhtar Donetsk, though has refused to go back to Ukraine, because of political unrest in the country.

He scored six goals in eight appearances last term, and prior to that netted 17 times in 24 matches for Velez Sarsfield.

Having sold midfielder Yohan Cabaye in January to PSG, and with another move for QPR’s Loic Remy, who the club had on loan last term looking unlikely, Pardew has recognised the need to add to his squad. So far, his recruits appear to be strategic, and if they can get off to a good start against champions Man City at St James’ Park, a match they are 5/1 to win, then it could be a good season on Tyneside.