Newcastle agree fee for Bigirimana

06 July 2012 10:46

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is closing in on another summer target after agreeing a fee for teenage midfielder Gael Bigirimana.

Press Association Sport understands the Magpies have reached agreement with Coventry over the 18-year-old Burundi-born player, who moved to this country as a refugee in 2004, and that discussions are at an advanced stage.

Bigirimana is seen as a potential addition to the development squad on Tyneside with owner Mike Ashley keen to invest in the future of the club as well as the present.

Bigirimana, who made 28 senior appearances for Coventry last season, 16 of them npower Championship starts, is expected to cost Newcastle around £1million, although the midlands club are understood to be keen to negotiate a sell-on clause as part of any deal.

The player, along with his father, two brothers and sister, followed his mother to England as the family escaped their war-torn homeland.

He presented himself at Coventry's Academy training ground as an 11-year-old and asked for a trial after spotting it while walking to a local supermarket to buy milk, and rose swiftly through the ranks.

Bigirimana would be the second arrival at Newcastle this summer with 22-year-old Reims midfielder Romain Amalfitano already on the books.

Pardew is intent on strengthening his squad both in terms of numbers and quality as he prepares for the new Barclays Premier League season and a Europa League campaign. However, the development of a new generation of first-team players is also a high priority as the club attempts to maintain its astute investment policy.

The Magpies continue to pursue a series of senior targets, although progress to date has been slow with FC Twente refusing to budge on their valuation of striker Luuk de Jong, and defender Douglas' move potentially caught up in red tape.

Lille full-back Mathieu Debuchy remains a target, although Pardew is keeping his options open.

Source: PA