It takes a brave man to move from Wearside to Tyneside. And though Javi Manquillo was never technically a Sunderland player, spending last season on loan from Spanish giants Atletico Madrid, it is fair to say Black Cats supporters won’t be too thrilled by the reports that he could be making a shock move to their north east neighbours.
Mundo Deportivo report that the right-back is poised to sign a three-year deal at Newcastle United and become the Magpies’ third signing of a sluggish transfer window.
Manquillo won seven caps for Spain's Under-21s
The 23-year-old, who also spent a brief spell with Liverpool in 2014/15, is not part of Diego Simeone’s plans at Atletico and it is reported that they will not stand in his way of a permanent departure.
Since making his first-team debut all the way back in 2011, Manquillo has only featured a further five times for Los Rojiblancos. However, he showed glimpses of his talent at Sunderland last season, making 19 Premier League appearances as they were relegated from the Premier League.
However, it appears that Newcastle will give him the chance to remain in the top flight, not to mention the North East.
The report adds that manager Rafael Benitez, who is held in high regard in Spain due to his La Liga winning exploits with Valencia, has been key to the move.
A natural right-back though capable of filling in on the left when required, Manquillo will hope to finally hold down a regular starting spot in England at the third time of asking.