Newcastle United have beaten Leeds and West Ham to the signature of free agent Matthew Bondswell, according to a reliable source.
According to The Telegraph, Newcastle are on the verge of signing the 18-year-old left-back after his departure from RB Leipzig in January.
The Nottingham Forest academy starlet moved to Germany in 2018, but after two-and-a-half years in Germany the youngster wanted to return home.
The England Under-18 defender failed to make the breakthrough with the Champions League club and spent a loan spell with FC Dordrecht.
West Ham were close to signing him in January, according to Football Insider. The Hammers held talks with him in January, but could not complete a deal.
Both Chelsea and Sporting Lisbon were also thought to be looking at the player.
However, Newcastle have landed Bondswell, who never made a senior appearance for Leipzig’s senior side.
Bondswell is expected to go into Newcastle’s U23 squad where he will be assessed by Chris Hogg.
Bruce searching for bargains
Steve Bruce will be hoping England U18 star Bondswell can make the leap into the first-team squad and challenge Jamal Lewis for a place in first XI.
There is unlikely to be a great amount of cash to spend on transfers in the summer and the club are already looking at loans and free transfers.
Bruce said last month: “I think what you are going to see, especially during the pandemic, is that we haven’t seen many big transfers and I can’t see things changing in the summer.
“So I think it will be the same again I would have thought.
“There will be a few and a privileged few that will have money, but certainly the way it’s looking I don’t think there will be supporters back in the ground this season.”