Newcastle hoping to seal loan deal for Chelsea midfielder, but play down James McCarthy rumours

Rafael Benitez is hoping to push through his 12th summer signing in the next 48 hours as Newcastle close in on a loan deal for Chelsea midfielder Christian Atsu.

Newcastle hoping to seal loan deal for Chelsea midfielder, but play down James McCarthy rumours

Rafael Benitez is hoping to push through his 12th summer signing in the next 48 hours as Newcastle close in on a loan deal for Chelsea midfielder Christian Atsu.

It is understood the Magpies are in talks with both the club and the player and hope to bring the 24-year-old Ghana international to St James' Park for the remainder of the season.

Atsu joined the Blues in a £3.5million switch from Porto in September 2013 but is yet to make a senior appearance for the club and has been loaned out to Vitesse Arnhem, Everton, Bournemouth and Malaga since his arrival.

A successful completion of the discussions would cap an eventful few days for Newcastle, who defeated fellow Sky Bet Championship promotion hopefuls Brighton 2-0 on Saturday evening and then pushed through deals for Ipswich striker Daryl Murphy and Palermo's Morocco international full-back Achraf Lazaar.

However, sources on Tyneside have played down speculation that the Magpies also have their eye on unsettled Everton midfielder James McCarthy.

The £20million-rated Republic of Ireland international appears to be surplus to requirements at Goodison Park since the arrival of new manager Ronald Koeman and has been linked with a series of potential suitors in recent days.

However, club insiders have insisted McCarthy is not on Newcastle's radar as his current employers wait to discover the extent of a groin injury which prevented him from taking part in Saturday's 1-0 home win over Stoke.

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