Newcastle have completed the signing of Jonjo Shelvey on a five-and-a-half year deal from fellow strugglers Swansea City.
The 23-year-old England international put pen to paper for an undisclosed fee understood to be in the region of £12million after travelling to Tyneside for a medical and talks on Tuesday.
Shelvey is the club’s second new signing in 24 hours following the arrival of Henri Saivet from Bordeaux, also on a long-term deal and for a fee understood to amount to around £5million.
“I’m very excited to be here. I’m so glad that it’s finally done. I drove up through the night to be here, so it’s been a manic 24 hours but it’s all been worth it to come here and play for this great club,” he said.
Shelvey has been in Newcastle’s sights for several years, but his move comes after he found himself a peripheral figure at the Liberty Stadium in recent weeks.
He made his last appearance for the Swans, who are just two points better off than the relegation-threatened Magpies, in Sunday’s 3-2 FA Cup third-round defeat at League Two Oxford, after which he became involved in a row with a disgruntled fan as he left the pitch.
Newcastle head coach Steve McClaren has been desperate to add players who know the Premier League to his squad after seeing summer signings Aleksandar Mitrovic and Florian Thauvin struggle to establish themselves in English football.
McClaren said: “I’m delighted to welcome Jonjo to Newcastle United. He has great experience for a young English central midfielder and he is a current England international, so I’m certain he will be a great addition to the squad.
“He is a player we have admired for some time and we’re very pleased that we’ve now been able to bring him here.”
While Newcastle have concentrated their early activity on central midfield, there is little doubt that their main focus has to be addressing a crippling lack of goals – they have scored only 19 in their 20 league games to date, and six of those came on one afternoon against Norwich.
To that end, they are maintaining an interest in Tottenham and England winger Andros Townsend and are hopeful progress can be made on that front, and are pursuing a series of striking targets.
They received no encouragement whatsoever in their enquiries over Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette, but remain on the trail of Wolfsburg’s Bas Dost and are keeping close tabs on developments with former frontman Andy Carroll, now at West Ham, and West Brom’s Saido Berahino, another man they have watched for some time.
However, their focus on QPR’s Charlie Austin appears to be dwindling with concerns over injuries and the apparent willingness of the player to remain where he is and run down his contract, making his capture less likely.