Newcastle Close To Signing 21 Year Old Attacking Midfielder

We were first linked with Jacob Butterfield late last year.

Jacob Butterfield – cheer up son – you’re coming to Newcastle

The 21 year-old attacking midfielder of Barnsley had been spotted by Newcastle scouts in the Championship, and his contract is up at the Yorkshire club this summer, and there were strong rumors late last year that Newcastle were in for the youngster.

But then he picked up a terrible cruciate ligament knee injury on 31st December against Leeds United, which will see miss the rest of the season,  and that’s the same injury that Dan Gosling was suffering from, when he was signed as a free agent from Everton almost two years ago.

With these injuries, there’s always a chance the lad will not be quite the same player when he’s fit again, although with today’s medical advances that’s getting less common, and certainly Ben Arfa is showing he’s as good as ever, after recovering from his broken leg.

The Daily Mirror is reporting the deal is close to going through,  and while the lad is on a free transfer,  since he’s under 24,  Newcastle will need to pay a compensation fee,  which we reported was around £3M in early January.

The Mirror is saying that fee is now £2M, so Newcastle will be picking up a very good England U21 International for a fairly small fee -maybe we can class that as peanuts.

The lad is thought to be one of the best players outside the Premier League and Barnsley manager Keith Hill had said last month the player will likely be leaving the club when his contract expires at the end of June:

“Do I want to keep the best young midfielder in the Championship? Of course I do,” “But this club cannot compete financially with other clubs in this league and we keep losing players.”

“We have offered Jacob a contract but he will receive other offers that are much better financially. I think he will probably leave at the end of the season.”

As long as Jacob recovers well from his knee injury,  this should be a good deal for Newcastle.

By our reckoning Jacob has played 99 times for Barnsley with 8 goals, since making his debut in a League Cup tie against Newcastle United in August of 2007, when he had just turned 17 .

Comments welcome.