Newcastle closing in on Frenchman

Lille defender Mathieu DebuchyNewcastle have agreed a £5m fee with Lille for full-back Mathieu Debuchy, according to reports from Sky Sports.

The French international is a long-term target of the Premier League club, who were rumoured to be interested in his signature during the summer.

After previously stating his willingness to move to the North East of England, it is thought that a deal for the 27-year-old could be concluded within the opening week of the transfer window

Real Madrid and Inter Milan were thought to be interested in the full-back, but neither have made an official bid, leaving the door open for the Magpies.

Current St James’ Park midfielder Yohan Cabaye, who was Debuchy’s team-mate at Lille, is thought to have had a major influence on the deal, persuading his countryman to move to the Tyne club.

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is thought to be keen on strengthening his back line during the New Year and sees Debuchy as the ideal candidate to add some solidity.

It is believed that he may be keen to add further reinforcements, with a centre-back rumoured to be on his mind due to the shaky performances of Fabricio Coloccini and James Perch.

Debuchy was key part of the French side at EURO 2012, helping his nation reach the quarter-finals, where they lost to eventual winners Spain.