Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce has confirmed the club are close to completing the signing Jeff Hendrick.
The Republic of Ireland midfielder is a free agent having seen his contract expire at Burnley earlier in the summer.
Hendrick has signed an agreement to join the Premier League side, but some loose ends remain to be tidied.
Newcastle are in need of midfield reinforcements after Nabil Bentaleb returned to parent club Schalke after a six-month loan spell.
Bruce hopes to have the Hendrick deal and a new contract for Matty Longstaff wrapped up this weekend.
Another spell for Bentaleb at St. James's Park hasn't been ruled out but, to Bruce, Hendrick seems a safer bet, "I have never said no to anything just yet.
"But with Nabil going back and the sort of money that Nabil was going to be at.
"I thought maybe Jeff Hendrick was a better bet with his experience and know-how in the Premier League.
"Of course, the beauty is he is on a Bosman, in that case we have like for like."
🗣Steve Bruce " I learnt about the take over falling through on the radio or something"
🗣Reporter "It was actually Sky Sports News"
🗣Bruce " It was the same Sky Sports News that said Pochettino would be appointed in the next 24 hours but that didn't happen either" 🤣 pic.twitter.com/co8dw4mcoM
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) August 21, 2020
Bruce is also hopeful that another loanee - Danny Rose - may return to the North-East, "On Danny Rose, we will have a look to see what will happen in the next few weeks.
"As I said, we've got to box clever because of the situation we are all in."
But a new long-term deal has been agreed with local boy Matty Longstaff, with Bruce telling The Chronicle, "He had his head turned and it affected him.
"But he’s a Geordie from North Shields and I always knew deep down he wanted to stay.
"We’re 99.9% sure that it’s done.
"There are still tiny little things to get ironed out, which we hope can get ironed out this afternoon."
"He’s on his way down to the camp."
Newcastle begin their pre-season with a game against Barsnley on Saturday-week. Their Premier League campaign starts away to West Ham on September 12.