Sky Sports is reporting today that Newcastle United seem to be winning the race to sign 21 year-old Barnsley midfielder Jacob Butterfield, who is an England U21 International.
Jacob Butterfield – Barnsley’s England U21 midfielder
Newcastle have watched Butterfield for over year now, and were heavily linked with signing the central midfielder in January.
Jacob suffered a serious knee injury on New Year’s Eve, and it’s an ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) injury, similar to what Dan Gosling had when he arrived form Everton almost two years ago.
The news today is that Newcastle are hoping to seal the deal as quickly as possible as Newcastle look to improve their squad for European competition next season.
Butterfield becomes a free agent in the summer, as his contract runs out, but Newcastle will need to pay Barnsley a a compensation fee, since he’s under 24.
In early April the Daily Mirror is saying that fee was around £2M, so Newcastle will be picking up a very good England U21 International for a fairly small fee.
The lad is thought to be one of the best players outside the Premier League and Barnsley manager Keith Hill had said in late March:
“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.
Jacob has played 100 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 .
Jacob was born in Bradford, and has been at Barnsley his whole career, and he looks a very good player in the making, and could become a very good acquisition for Newcastle.