Jack Colback is set to disappoint West Ham United, Aston Villa and Sunderland by joining Newcastle United on a free transfer on July 1.
The Sunderland midfielder had been offered around £50,000 a week by West Ham – a package that would have almost quadrupled his current earnings at the Stadium of Light – but was reluctant to move his young family away from the north-east.
Moreover the 24-year-old, who grew up in Killingworth, North Tyneside, was a boyhood Newcastle fan. He allowed his contract on Wearside to run down after being disappointed by a somewhat modest offer of a new deal from Roberto De Fanti, Sunderland’s former director of football last summer.
Previously a victim of his own versatility Colback, who can also operate at left-back, subsequently began flourishing, playing some of the best football of his career after moving into a more attacking midfield role after Gus Poyet’s installation as Sunderland’s manager last October.
Poyet is keen to retain a player who has received an offer from Aston Villa as well as those from West Ham and Newcastle but a potential new deal recently placed on the table by Sunderland fails to match that presented by the Tynesiders. It is understood it would take a sensational counter-bid to change things now.
Accordingly Colback’s move to Newcastle is expected to be announced when he returns from honeymoon next week. He will become the club’s first permanent addition to the first-team squad for 18 months and the first senior signing made by Lee Charnley, Newcastle’s new managing director.
Charnley has also agreed a deal for Ayoze Pérez, a young Tenerife striker, but he is destined for the development squad.