Newcastle United are closing in on a £35m move for Chelsea youngster Lewis Hall, despite the academy graduate having only signed a new deal in west London earlier this summer.
The Magpies are keen to strengthen at fullback and have identified Hall, a midfielder who broke into the Blues senior side as a left-back, as their answer. They had previously been linked to both Arsenal’s Kieran Tierney and Chelsea teammate Marc Cucurella, but deals were too difficult to achieve.
Though making 12 appearances last season, Hall has fallen down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge thanks to Ben Chilwell’s return to fitness and Ian Maatsen’s return from a loan spell at Burnley, and he had been expected to join Crystal Palace on loan this summer.
However, Newcastle have swooped in to take him on a permanent deal. As per the Athletic ‘Chelsea initially preferred Hall joining Crystal Palace on loan, but the England youth international is favouring a permanent exit’ and ‘the opportunity to play regular football under Howe and for a team that will compete in the Champions League this season are thought to be key factors’ in his decision.
The Blues are holding out for £35m, and they have already rejected several offers from Newcastle, who are finally closing in on the desired fee. Any deal will also include a significant sell-on clause, which Chelsea have already benefitted from this summer when Tino Livramento left Southampton for Newcastle earlier in the summer.
Eddie Howe’s side, who thrashed Aston Villa 5-1 on the opening day of the season, have already signed midfielder Sandro Tonali and winger Harvey Barnes this summer, though they are not expected to recruit significantly further should Hall arrive.