NUFC step up interest in Luuk De Jong
NEWCASTLE United have slapped in an increased bid for Luuk De Jong.
The club have had a £8m offer for the highly-rated striker rejected by Dutch club FC Twente.
And the United delegation which travelled to Holland last week raised the stakes with a fresh take-it-or-leave-it bid, understood to be around £10m, for De Jong, according to sources in the country.
Newcastle, also keen on the 21-year-old’s defensive team-mate Douglas, are willing to pay the whole fee up front.
And those terms could prove decisive, with most other clubs paying for transfers in instalments.
United officials are now waiting for a decision from FC Twente, whose president, Joop Munsterman, said the club’s first offer for De Jong fell well short of their valuation.
“The offer was not serious,” said Munsterman. “We have a different price in our minds.”
German club Borussia Monchengladbach also keen on De Jong, who is understood to be interested in a move to St James’s Park.
De Jong’s agent, Louis Laros, has confirmed the Holland international wants to leave FC Twente, managed by former England coach Steve McClaren, this summer to “develop as a player”.
“Luuk has taken the decision to move on – he wants to develop as a player in a bigger league,” said Laros. “The important thing for us is the development of Luuk.
“Not the money, but the way of playing and the amount of playing time he will get will be decisive.”
De Jong, an interational colleague of United goalkeeper Tim Krul, is still on holiday after going away with Holland to Euro 2012 last month.
And Krul – who signed a new long-term contract at Newcastle last season – will have recommended a move to Tyneside during their time together at the European Championships.
For his part, McClaren would like to keep De Jong – and Douglas – at the club, but he is resigned to losing both players.
McClaren last week said it would take an “absurd” bid to prise De Jong away from FC Twente.
De Jong scored 25 Eredivisie goals last season, making him the league’s joint-second highest scorer behind Das Bost.
Meanwhile, United goalkeeper Fraser Forster will finally join Celtic this week after agreeing terms with the Scottish Premier League club.
The 24-year-old has broken his silence on his protracted move to Parkhead, where he has spent the past two seasons on loan.
And Forster’s move will see £2m added to United manager Alan Pardew’s summer transfer kitty.
“After winning the league, it was the right decision for me to come back to Celtic,” said the Hexham-born goalkeeper, who has agreed a four-year deal.
“The opportunity to play in the Champions League was something I couldn’t turn down.
“I was never tempted by other possibilities. There’s always speculation, but in my mind, I felt I’d end up back at Celtic.
“I’m very happy that I’m going to be at Celtic for the next four years at least.”
Meanwhile, former Newcastle player and coach Alan Thompson has settled his legal dispute with Celtic.
He had instructed lawyers to claim for unfair dismissal after his contract as first-team coach was terminated.
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