We wrote that Harvey Barnes' prospective transfer from Leicester City to Newcastle United was "imminent" six days ago, but it appears that it actually is this time.
Prominent broadcaster/journalist Ben Jacobs, a Foxes fan usually quite clued-up on his club, has tonight revealed that an agreement between the two clubs is not far away, with a fee in excess of £35 million being discussed:
This could just be some opportunistic reporting on the back of the news that Allan Saint-Maximin is not with the Newcastle squad in Glasgow for tonight's friendly with Rangers, of course. However, it does seem as though progress has been made, even if that is just due to Maxi's mooted move to Saudi Arabia becoming a reality.
Not many NUFC fans are thrilled to be losing the mercurial French winger, but Howe did say as recently as Saturday that the club was going to have to be "creative" in its business due to financial fair play. Some took this as loan-to-buy deals being in the club's thoughts, but it could equally have meant that an unpopular sale was in the offing.
Maxi leaving could open the doors for as many as three £40 million signings, due to the way financial fair play accounts for transfer fees, with Barnes potentially not even being included in those. Howe is reported to be looking for another left-back, centre-back, and right-back, in addition to another midfielder or winger.
Newcastle have been repeatedly linked to left-backs Federico Dimarco of Inter Milan and Theo Hernandez of AC Milan, centre-backs Joachim Andersen of Crystal Palace and Axel Disasi of Monaco, right-back Tino Livramento of Southampton, and wingers Federico Chiesa of Juventus and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia of Napoli.
Still, it's Barnes that looks likely to be first through the door, so here's a reminder of what the 25-year-old winger can do:
If he can bring that sort of quality and productivity to St. James' he'll be a very good signing indeed.