Newcastle are poised to announce the signing of 19-year-old centre-back Cathal Heffernan from AC Milan following a successful trial with the club earlier this month, according to the Irish Times.
The Cork native is expected to join compatriot Alex Murphy in the under-23 side and will become the second player to move to the Magpies from the Rossoneri this summer after Sandro Tonali.
Official confirmation is expected later tonight or early tomorrow morning, but Heffernan's Olympian father Rob appears to have let the cat out of the bag by Tweeting a photograph of the family en route to Tyneside with a caption of "Big day ahead!".
Heffernan's journey to Milan began with a loan from Cork City in February 2022. By June, he had secured a permanent contract with the Italian giants. As part of the initial loan agreement, the Irish club reportedly received a five-figure sum.
Former Magpies midfielder Stephen Ireland has previously labelled Heffernan as a "powerhouse", having coached and mentored the young defender one-on-one since retiring.
Born in 2005, Heffernan is a right-footed central defender who stands at 6'1" tall. World of Football lists his strengths as being leadership, tackling, aerial duals, body strength, and natural fitness. They claim he only has one weakness: his passing.
You can judge for yourself on this YouTube highlight reel they posted of him around a year ago:
If Cathal does sign, which now seems incredibly likely, we're looking forward to seeing how he progresses through the ranks.
He'll hopefully take plenty of inspiration from Murphy, who was superb in pre-season and looks like he could feature competitively for the senior side if required.