North-East latest: Newcastle to make key signing before the weekend; Sunderland face fight for midfield ace

Sunderland Stadium of Light

We bring you the latest news from Newcastle United, Sunderland and Middlesbrough.

1) Remy Cabella inspired by Newcastle United’s French influence

New Newcastle United signing Remy Cabella was encouraged to make the move to St. James' Park due to the success that French players have had at the club previously.

Cabella completed his move to St. James’ Park from Montpellier over the weekend, concluding what was a protracted transfer saga, and says that Newcastle’s history of developing stars from Ligue 1 was a major factor in his decision to join Alan Pardew’s men.

“I do know a lot of the French players, Hatem [Ben Arfa], Massadio [Haidara] and Mapou [Yanga-Mbiwa], who I went to school with," Cabella said.

"It helps a lot to know them, to integrate well and put in a good performance for the fans, it's something I'm really looking to invest in while I'm here."

The central midfielder also said he was hoping to be the next in a line of talented French stars – including David Ginola and Laurent Robert - to make himself a legend on Tyneside.

"I remember both of them playing here, now I'm looking forward to making my name here," He explained to the BBC.

"I want to become another one of the greats."

2) Newcastle United close in on Daryl Janmaat

Newcastle United are on the verge of completing a deal which would see Dutch World Cup star Daryl Janmaat join the club.

Janmaat has just returned to Brazil after impressing for Louis van Gaal’s Holland side and looks set to complete a switch to St. James’ Park in the near future.

According to the Chronicle, the Feyenoord man is keen on making the move and the transfer could be finalised before the end of the week.

Janmaat is likely to cost around £7 million and he will come in as a replacement for the outgoing Mathieu Debuchy.

3) Sunderland to increase interest in Marcus Alonso

Sunderland are stepping up their interest in Fiorentina defender Marcus Alonso, according to reports.

Alonso spent last season on loan at the Stadium of Light, where he became a prominent member of Gus Poyet’s first team and the club are now hoping to complete a permanent deal for the left-back.

The 23-year-old has been kept at Fiorentina for the club’s pre-season so far, with the Serie A outfit keen to see his ability in comparison to their current squad.

The Black Cats, though, are intent on persuading them to allow him to leave and will offer Modibo Diakite, who spent last season on loan at the Viola, as part of the deal, which will also include a considerable cash fee.

4) Aston Villa to do battle with Sunderland for Ki Sung-Yueng

Aston Villa have entered the race to sign Sunderland target Ki Sung-Yueng from Swansea City.

Ki spent last season on loan at the Stadium of Light and Gus Poyet is known to be hoping to complete a deal for the technically adept central-midfielder, but now faces increased competition for the South Korean.

It is thought that Paul Lambert has identified the 25-year-old as a player who could significantly improve his Villa side, as the Scot looks to make a large number of additions over the summer.

5) Lukas Jutkiewicz to seal Burnley move

Lukas Jutkiewicz is close to leaving Middlesbrough to join Premier League new-boys Burnley.

Jutkiewicz was made available for transfer by Aitor Karanka this summer and Burnley have jumped at the chance to sign the tall striker.

The fee to sign the attacker, who spent last season on loan at Bolton, is thought to be £1.5 million and he will likely come in as back-up for Ashley Barnes and Simon Vokes, who established an excellent partnership in the Championship last campaign.

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