Newcastle transfer round-up: Reaction to Clark and Diame signings, Sissoko exit hitch, Saivet targeted and more

Aston Villa's Ciaran Clark

A select look at the news and gossip surrounding the Magpies' transfer activity.

Aston Villa's Ciaran Clark

Newcastle have completed their eighth and ninth signings of the summer by finalising a deal for Aston Villa defender Ciaran Clark and Hull City midfielder Mohamed Diame.

Clark joins for a £5 million fee after the Magpies activated his release clause, and the 26-year-old has explained his motivations for making the move.

He told the club's official website: "Newcastle is a massive club so I’m really happy to be here. Importantly, it is a club that is moving in the right direction and pushing for the right things, so I’m really excited to now be a part of that."

Meanwhile, Rafael Benitez has revealed that the Republic of Ireland international's versatility - Clark can play at centre-back, left-back, or in a defensive midfield role -  was key to making him such an attractive transfer target.

Though it looked briefly as though there could be a spanner in the works of the move for Diame, with HITC Sport understanding that Aston Villa were trying to make a late move to steal Hull City midfielder hijack the deal, the midfielder has also completed his switch to St. James' Park.

Mohamed Diame celebrates scoring the first goal for Hull City

Diame had been widely reported as having a medical on Tyneside on Tuesday evening ahead of a £4.5 million move to St. James' Park, and despite the suggestion that Villa were willing to offer an attractive wage packet to pinch the 29-year-old, he has committed to the Tyneside club.

The Senegal international talked up the size of the club as his main motivation for the move whilst speaking to the club's website, and Benitez voiced his hope that the player can contribute goals and assists from midfield this season.

Switching the focus to potential departures, French outlet La Provence has claimed that forgotten midfielder Henri Saivet is a target for Ligue 1 side Marseille.

The paper suggests that contact has been made between the French club and the player's representatives, but that it is uncertain whether Newcastle would be willing to sanction a sale.

Spanish outlet Marca have claimed that contrary to widespread reports, La Liga giants Real Madrid are not interested in signing Moussa Sissoko.

Watford's Troy Deeney in action with Newcastle's Moussa Sissoko

The paper claims that any link made between Real and Sissoko is "false", despite suggestions that the Magpies midfielder was being targeted as an alternative to his France international teammate Paul Pogba.

With Real almost certainly out of the running, it is not becoming any clearer where the 26-year-old's future lies with less than a month remaining of the transfer window.

Finally, Benitez has hinted to the Chronicle that Adam Armstrong could have a role to play for the Magpies whilst Aleksandar Mitrovic serves his four-match suspension to start the season.

Armstrong was a scoring sensation during a loan spell at League One Coventry City last term, and is back in Benitez's squad ahead of the season opener against Fulham on Friday.

However, Benitez also hinted that he may ultimately opt to send the England youth international out on loan once again when Mitrovic returns to action.

Newcastle United's Adam Armstrong in action

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