Newcastle United are in talks to sign former Schalke defender Bradley Cross on a free transfer, according to the Chronicle.

While the 19-year-old South African isn’t the kind of marquee signing many on Tyneside were dreaming of this transfer window, that doesn’t mean Cross can’t prove to be an inspired addition to Steve Bruce’s squad.

The Daily Mail reported in March that a number of Premier League clubs were keeping an eye on the teenager, with Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal sending scouts to the Veltins Arena.

Six months on, however, Cross is closing in on a deal that would see him become the fourth free agent to put pen to paper with the Magpies following Jeff Hendrick, Mark Gillespie and Scotland international winger Ryan Fraser.

Since his contract at Schalke expired, Cross has enjoyed an impressive trial in the north east and is now in talks over a permanent transfer.

A centre-back who moved to Germany from his native South Africa in 2018, Cross also has a UK passport, which should ease fears of work permit problems scuppering the move.

The move comes amid claims Peruvian midfielder Rodrigo Vilca is also on the verge of joining Newcastle.

His president at Deportivo Municipal told Las Voces del Futbol on Monday night the youngster would be a Magpies player by the end of the week.

“He is a very important player for us, but he will play his last game this Wednesday,” Jose Cordova said.

“There is already a formal proposal by Newcastle and he will travel to England on 1 October.”

In other news, Report: Tottenham Hotspur plan to make loan offer for player